Sports Day (体育 の 日 -Taiiku no hi) is a national holiday always celebrated on 2a. Monday in October in Japan. The Japanese take their Sport Day very seriously and often have weeks of practice for the events. Sports Day events start early with speeches from government or people in leadership roles.
It has been celebrated since 1966, to remind the opening of the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo (which happened in October that year, to avoid the rainy season in July in the country). The date promotes the practice of sports and the healthy lifestyle. For a long time, this date was celebrated on 10 in October, but from the year 2000, the date was changed to 2a. Monday, because the government wanted to formalize more extended holidays that lasted for 3 days.
On this day, most schools, neighborhoods and institutions in Japan take advantage of the holiday to organize the traditional Undoukai sports gymnastics, the event is set with a game and exercise encounter.
Undoukai is a fun activity, especially for children, but people from the neighborhood, parents and teachers also participate. There are competitions, in a kind of mini-gym, with athletics events such as 100 meters races, obstacle course, relay, bag race, tug of war, etc.
In Japan, sports are considered a healthy pastime that develops good discipline, builds character, encourages honest play, and promotes sportsmanship. Winning or losing the Japanese will enthusiastically cheer for the athlete who make a sincere effort. At sporting events, competitors are often encouraged with Ganbate shouts! (force).
Sumo is considered the national sport of Japan and is very popular and judo and karate have become international sports. The government provides access to various sports to its inhabitants, including tennis, table tennis, volleyball, swimming, among others. Thanks to the constant investment in infrastructure of sports gyms, equipment and instructors, Japan has achieved more and more positive results in the Olympic Games.
Today, many Japanese athletes, especially soccer and baseball players, are well known internationally. Football in Japan began to grow with the arrival of the Brazilian player Zico to the local league that emerged, the J-League, created in 1992. Being already the second most practiced sport in the schools tries to generate a culture of the soccer that guarantees its practice by the population. Since then, the clubs in the league have many foreign athletes, mainly Brazilians.
National holiday: 14 of October, Sport Day.