Flag of Japan

Japan Flag

Country Information

Sovereign StateYes
Country CodesJP, JPN
Official NameJapan
Government TypeConstitutional Monarchy with a Parliamentary Government
CurrencyJapanese Yen (JPY)
Calling Code+81
Member OfUnited Nations, Group of Seven (G7), World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
PopulationApproximately 126 million (as of 2023)
Total AreaApproximately 377,975 square kilometers
Highest PointMount Fuji (3,776 meters or 12,389 feet)
Lowest PointHachiro-gata (-4 meters or -13 feet)
GDP Per CapitaAround $40,000 USD
Life ExpectancyApproximately 84 years
Internet TLD.jp

Japanese National Anthem

Kimigayo (His Imperial Majesty’s Reign)

May your reign
Continue for a thousand, eight thousand generations,
Until the pebbles
Grow into boulders
Lush with moss

Flags of Neighboring Countries

History of the Japanese Flag

The national flag of Japan, known as the “Nisshōki” (the sun-mark flag) or “Hinomaru” (the circle of the sun), is a powerful symbol of the country’s history and cultural identity. The flag features a red circle, representing the sun, centered on a white background. This design is deeply rooted in Japan’s nickname, “Land of the Rising Sun,” and has been an enduring symbol of Japan for centuries.

The earliest recorded use of the Hinomaru dates back to the 12th century, where it appeared on banners of samurai and during the feudal era. However, it wasn’t until 1870, following the Meiji Restoration, that the Hinomaru was officially adopted as the national flag. This period marked the end of shogunate rule and the restoration of imperial power, during which Japan underwent rapid modernization and opened up to the world after centuries of isolation.

The flag’s simplicity and elegance are reflective of Japan’s cultural values. The white color symbolizes purity and honesty, while the red represents sincerity and brightness. During World War II, the Hinomaru became a symbol of Japanese expansionism and militarism, which led to mixed feelings about the flag in the post-war period.

Despite its controversial past, the Hinomaru was officially designated as the national flag in 1999, reaffirming its status as a symbol of the nation. The flag is celebrated annually on National Flag Day, February 11, commemorating the day when the first emperor of Japan is said to have ascended to the throne in 660 BC.

Today, the Japanese flag is a symbol of peace, unity, and national pride. It is displayed prominently during national holidays, at sports events, and in schools across Japan, symbolizing a nation that respects its past while looking forward to a peaceful future. The flag’s significance extends beyond its borders, recognized globally as a symbol of Japan’s cultural and economic influence in the world.