Today, November 24th, 2022, is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Since it falls on the fourth Thursday of November, the date changes a bit every year, but it's always very close to a similar holiday in Japan, called 勤労感謝の日 (kinrō kansha no hi | lit. "thanks for labor day"), fixed on November 23rd.

On this Japanese holiday, children send thank you cards to firefighters, hospital workers, police officers, SDF and Coast Guard personnel and other people in the labor sector, companies congratulate workers for their dedication, and people are generally encouraged to show their thanks to those around them who work.

The proximity of the two holidays on the calendar is intentional. Labor Thanksgiving Day was established by GHQ in Japan after World War II to coincide with Thanksgiving and reflected the post-war constitution's emphasis on expanding workers' rights. It effectively replaced the Shinto harvest festival called 新嘗祭 nīnamesai, now only held privately by the Imperial House of Japan on November 23rd.

No matter whether it's for family, friends, or for any kind of work or effort, however, both holidays share the same spirit of expressing thanks.

Say thanks with Studio Ghibli characters

If you're a fan of Studio Ghibli films, you can not only send a message of gratitude but do so in a unique way thanks to a wonderful gift provided by the studio's official Twitter account:

Image cards featuring popular characters from Studio Ghibli films, along with the message ありがとう arigatō, which, as most of our readers probably know, means "Thanks" in Japanese.

Just like the hundreds of images from its films the studio has made available for download free of charge on their website, these images are also provided with the caveat that you should "use them freely within the limits of common sense."

For example, you can save them and share them with your family, post them on your social media account or send them to someone privately by direct message or email to express your gratitude.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.