Golden Week in Japan kicks off this 2012 with Showa Day. Showa Day is a Japanese annual holiday held on April 29th.
This holiday originally celebrated the birthday of the Showa Emperor, Hirohito, who reined from 1926 to 1989. After his death in 1989, the April 29th became Greenery Day, as well as the opening holiday of Golden Week. Beginning in 2000, after a series of failed legislative attempts, Greenery Day was moved to May 4th and in 2007, April 29th was renamed Showa Day. The purpose of this day is to encourage public reflection of Hirohito's reign. This turbulent 63-year period saw the end of Taisho Democracy, the rise of Fascism, World War II, the post-war occupation, the rise of Japan as an industrial economic power, and more.