Mother's day in Japan

Celebrate Mothers on "haha no hi"

⏱ 2 minutes

Mother’s Day in Japan takes place on May’s second Sunday, as in most countries of the world. While not a holiday, most of the Japanese don’t work on this day and can celebrate as families.

Mother's Day is obviously also celebrated in Japan. In Japanese, it is called 母の日 haha no hi, also meaning "Mother's Day" (in Japan, almost all celebrations on specific days end with " 's day").

The origins of this commemoration in Japan are unclear. It may have begun on March 6, 1931, to celebrate the birthday of Empress Kojun, who was Emperor Emeritus Akihito’s mother. Other sources suggest that the celebration was imported in 1913 by Christian missionaries. It was decided in 1949 that Mother’s Day in Japan would be celebrated on the same date as in the United States and that it would be a national day.

Presents to the mother and culinary traditions

As elsewhere in the world, children give presents to their mom on this special Sunday. Traditionally, they offer flowers: red carnations, symbol of purity and sweetness.

Mother's Day is also associated with Japanese culinary specialties (ah, Japanese cuisine, you'll never change!). This time, the focus is on egg dishes:

  • Tamagoyaki: Japanese rectangular omelette,
  • Chawanmushi: custard egg, usually served with chicken or shrimp.

Special campaigns in Japanese shops

The famous konbini chain 7-Eleven collects and displays each year drawings made by children for their mother shortly before Haha no hi. The result is sometimes…surprising!

The Donguri stores chain (Ghibli’s official shops) once put for sale a very special gift, that pleased all My Neighbor Totoro’s fans: the corn cob on which Satsuki and Mei had carved おかあさんへ / "for mom."

In 2014, Pampers released a long commercial video to thank all Japanese mothers for their dedication:


Happy Mother's Day to all mothers in the world!

Updated on April 08, 2021 La fête des mères au Japon