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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class: Holidays in Japan Series on JapanesePod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Japanese holidays and observances. I’m Becky, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 19: Sports Day.
Sports Day is a national holiday with the theme of loving sports and cultivating a healthy mind and body. Sports Day falls on the 2nd Monday of October each year. Various locations around the country hold sports-related events, and this day also provides an opportunity to think about health and exercise in our daily lives.
Now, before we go into more detail, do you know the answer to this question: which event triggered the enactment of the national Sports Day?
If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
On Sports Day, kindergartens, schools, companies, and regional organizations across the country hold events such as track meets. While relays and races are held, game-like events—such as toss-ball, tug of war, and scavenger hunts—are also held. The entire family can participate in sports festivals, physical fitness tests, and marathons. People can also enjoy the autumn season, which is known in Japan as the season for sports.
At kindergarten and elementary school sports events, families run in order to support their child in the races. One of the common sights of Sports Day is fathers holding video cameras, cheering loudly while lined up in the best position for taking videos. The sight of children running with all their might is very cute and surely would make anyone cheer excitedly. At lunchtime, the children eat lunch with their families.
Each municipality also organizes a sports event for Sports Day. These include events where parents and children can enjoy Frisbee, bowling, and marathons. Some places also offer health assessments for adults to raise awareness of their lack of exercise. Amateur soccer and baseball teams sponsor inter-league games on Sports Day and have fun while breaking a sweat.
Here’s our fun fact for the day! Did you know that, statistically, this day has a high likelihood of good weather? According to the statistics, since Sports Day was first held on October 10th, this holiday has been sunny or without rain eighty-five percent of the time.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question: what event triggered this holiday?
The correct answer is the Tokyo Olympics. On October 10th, 1964, the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games was held to great fanfare. To commemorate this event, two years later in 1966, October 10th became a national holiday marking Sports Day. Since 2000, in line with the Happy Monday System, Sports Day was moved to the second Monday of October. This means that every year, many people in Japan get to enjoy playing sports under a fine autumn sky.
Well listeners, how was this lesson?
Did you learn something new?
In your country, do you have a holiday relating to sports?
Please leave us a comment telling us at JapanesePod101.com.
And we’ll see you next time!