November 23, is a national holiday in Japan. The holiday has its origins in the mists of the past, two thousand five hundred years ago, as a celebration of the November grain harvests. While the Imperial household still calls it by the old name - Niiname sai (first taste) - and it is still celebrated as such at the Imperial Palace and Shinto shrines around the country, the 1948 law which made it "Labor Thanksgiving Day" and made it a legal holiday, dedicated it to labor and industry (reflecting the times) and a time to thank one another.
While I certainly appreciate the efforts of others, personally, when it comes to "production" I am more in tune with gratitude for food, than for industry, and hope Japan will do more to retain its own food production. Presently, Japan only supplies around 39 percent of the calories consumed in the country and must import the rest. It would be sad indeed to see us slip to the position in which South Korea finds itself - growing only 13% of its food needs and being dependent on countries like China and the USA, with all the food safety and security hazards that implies.
Regardless of the origins of our respective national holidays, we can all benefit from having an attitude of gratitude for the people, animals, and plants which sustain us - as I do the people who read this humble blog.
For an interesting perspective on food and gratitude, check out this excellent video about "Satoyama" - areas in which people work to create a balance with agricultural lands, secondary forests, artificial wetlands, and grasslands to create a sustainable life from the ecosystem. "Food" for thought...
Until next, in sincere gratitude, Sweet Sailing.
PS - for more information about Satoyama, visit Satoyama Initiative