Father’s Day Custom in Japan Developed in Own Way

The Japan News
Sunflowers stand tall under a blue sky.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—The custom of Father’s Day in Japan has a unique history and has developed in its own way.

Many people give red carnations to their mothers for Mother’s Day. Meanwhile, sunflowers have been becoming a popular gift for Father’s Day in recent years. But the situation had been different before.

In Japan, the third Sunday of June is Father’s Day.

Father’s Day is believed to have originated in the United States.

In Japan, the Father’s Day Council was established in 1981, branching off from the Men’s Fashion Unity, for the purpose of disseminating the custom of Father’s Day. In the following year, the council started calling on people to present gifts with a yellow ribbon for Father’s Day.

Kazunori Kawasaki, an official at the secretariat for the Men’s Fashion Unity, explained that yellow is a color of happiness and is used for protection from dangers. The practice of presenting gifts with a yellow ribbon has gradually taken root in Japanese society partly thanks to campaigning at department stores.

In the United States, people give red roses to living fathers and place white roses at the graves of deceased fathers for Father’s Day. According to Kawasaki, the fusion of the American custom and the image color of yellow for Father’s Day in Japan led to the Asian country developing a unique custom of giving yellow roses.

However, yellow roses also have a symbolic meaning of jealousy. Because of this, sunflowers have become more popular than yellow roses as a Father’s Day gift.

“Sunflowers are bright and give encouragement to people, and they may be a perfect gift as the summer is about to start in Japan at this time of the year,” Shigeyuki Nanba, head of Suzuki Florist in Tokyo’s Ginza district, said of the possible reason for the growing popularity of the flower.

Regarding an ideal Father’s Day gift, Kawasaki, a father of three children, said, “Any gift will make fathers happy.”

“It would be best if fathers and children can deepen communication on Father’s Day,” he added.