Sa pagpapatuloy ng seryeng Getting to Know the Japanese Flag by Heart, tutuklasin natin ang tinatagong kahulugan ng araw ng bandilang Hapon. Ang kahulugan nito ay nakabatay sa dalawang saligan. Ito ay ang mythology at religion as its primal pillars. It was simply because an Emperor was ascribed to be the direct descendant of a sun goddess which was known as Amaterasu. Moreover, the sun of Japan’s flag denotes a ruling house in accordance to the precepts of Shintoism. Japan’s official name was in the same way heavily influenced by its flag. Here’s how the story goes. The country’s most powerful emperor during those years, Emperor Monmu, had used the sun’s flag in representation of his court in 701. Consequently, this has become the first-ever use of the Japanese flag with a sun motif.
The oldest Japanese flag was preserved in Unpo Temple. Thus, according to some notable legends, the original flag was given to Emperor Go-Reizei during the 11th century. When the historic Meiji Restoration came about, there were many drastic changes that took place in this symbol of Japan’s unwavering political supremacy. First of which is the sun disc as well as the Rising Sun Ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy which had designated the said symbol of the soon to be established Japanese Empire. In tribute, there were propaganda posters and textbooks that depicted the Flag of Japan as the ultimate fount of patriotism and pride.
Ang mga Japanese flags ay makikita sa bawat tahanan tuwing National Foundation Day sapagkat ito ay mahigpit na ipinag-uutos ng kanilang pamahalaan ayon sa mga provisions ng kanilang pangkahalatang batas, bago sumapit ang Second World War. Sa ibang aspeto naman, ito ay kumakatawan bilang good luck charm and a form of prayer para sa mga Japanese soldiers na itinalaga sa ibang bansa noong kapanahunang iyon.
Image credit: Flag of Japan / Japanese Flag / Rising Sun by Dominic Alves from Flickr