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Flag of Japan

1

The national flag of Japan is a rectangular white banner bearing a crimson-red disc at its center.

Play-Doh FLAG OF JAPAN! || Hi no maru 日の丸 || Flags of the World by We Love Puzzles!

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This flag is officially called Nisshōki, but is more commonly known in Japan as Hinomaru.

Flags of Japan/日本の国旗 by nickmariostories

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It embodies the country's sobriquet: Land of the Rising Sun.

A sobriquet is a nickname, sometimes assumed, but often given by another.

The word Japan is an exonym, and is used by a large number of languages.

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The Nisshōki flag is designated as the national flag in the Law Regarding the National Flag and National Anthem, which was promulgated and became effective on August 13, 1999.

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Although no earlier legislation had specified a national flag, the sun-disc flag had already become the de facto national flag of Japan.

De facto is a Latin expression that means "in fact, in reality, in actual existence, force, or possession, as a matter of fact".

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Two proclamations issued in 1870 by the Daijō-kan, the governmental body of the early Meiji period, each had a provision for a design of the national flag.

The Daijō-kan or Dajō-kan, also known as the Great Council of State, was the highest organ of Japan's premodern Imperial government under Ritsuryō legal system during and after the Nara period or the highest organ of Japan's government briefly restored to power after the Meiji Restoration, which was replaced by the Cabinet.

The Meiji period, or Meiji era, was a Japanese era which extended from October 23, 1868, to July 30, 1912.

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A sun-disc flag was adopted as the national flag for merchant ships under Proclamation No. 57 of Meiji 3, and as the national flag used by the Navy under Proclamation No. 651 of Meiji 3. Use of the Hinomaru was severely restricted during the early years of the Allied occupation of Japan after World War II; these restrictions were later relaxed.

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although conflicts reflecting the ideological clash between what would become the Allied and Axis blocs began earlier.

The Allied occupation of Japan at the end of World War II was led by General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, with support from the British Commonwealth.

8

The sun plays an important role in Japanese mythology and religion as the Emperor is said to be the direct descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu and the legitimacy of the ruling house rested on this divine appointment and descent from the chief deity of the predominant Shinto religion.

Shinto or kami-no-michi is the traditional religion of Japan that focuses on ritual practices to be carried out diligently to establish a connection between present-day Japan and its ancient past.

Amaterasu, Amaterasu-ōmikami, or Ōhirume-no-muchi-no-kami is a deity of the Japanese myth cycle and also a major deity of the Shinto religion.

Japanese mythology embraces Shinto and Buddhist traditions as well as agriculturally-based folk religion.

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The name of the country as well as the design of the flag reflect this central importance of the sun.

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10

The ancient history Shoku Nihongi says that Emperor Monmu used a flag representing the sun in his court in 701, and this is the first recorded use of a sun-motif flag in Japan.

Emperor Monmu was the 42nd emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.

11

The oldest existing flag is preserved in Unpō-ji temple, Kōshū, Yamanashi, which is older than the 16th century, and an ancient legend says that the flag was given to the temple by Emperor Go-Reizei in the 11th century.

Kōshū is a city located in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan.

12

During the Meiji Restoration, both the sun disc and the Rising Sun Ensign of the Imperial Japanese Navy became major symbols in the emerging Japanese Empire.

The Meiji Restoration, also known as the Meiji Ishin, Renovation, Revolution, Reform, or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored practical imperial rule to Japan in 1868 under Emperor Meiji.

The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1868 until 1945, when it was dissolved following Japan's defeat and surrender in World War II.

13

Propaganda posters, textbooks, and films depicted the flag as a source of pride and patriotism.

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In Japanese homes, citizens were required to display the flag during national holidays, celebrations and other occasions as decreed by the government.

15

Different tokens of devotion to Japan and its Emperor featuring the Hinomaru motif became popular during the Second Sino-Japanese War and other conflicts.

The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan from 1937 to 1945.

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These tokens ranged from slogans written on the flag to clothing items and dishes that resembled the flag.

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Public perception of the national flag varies.

18

Historically, both Western and Japanese sources claimed the flag was a powerful and enduring symbol to the Japanese.

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Since the end of World War II, the use of the flag and the national anthem Kimigayo has been a contentious issue for Japan's public schools.

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Disputes about their use have led to protests and lawsuits.

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