Japan’s flag is undoubtedly one of the most distinct national flags in the world. It is a crimson-red disc in the middle of a white rectangular banner.
But what does the red dot or red disc actually mean?
The history of Japan’s flag dates back to times immemorial. Ancient Japanese text of Shoku Nihongi tells about the first record of a sun-motif flag in Japan, in the year 701 AD. But no one knows for sure who designed it and when exactly.
Specialists agree that it is closely tied to the Japanese mythology.
The sun plays an important role in the Japanese mythology and religion. Japanese Emperors are said to be the direct descendants of the sun goddess Amaterasu. She is the chief deity in Shinto religion, the ethnic religion of Japan.
Hence, the red disc or the red dot depicted in Japan’s flag represents the sun. Another reason for it, is that Japan is the easternmost Asian country, the land of the rising sun in the Northern hemisphere.
But symbolically speaking, the red dot of the Japan’s flag represents the most important element in Japan’s culture and belief. That is the one and only sun, the Emperor and the unity of Japanese people.
They all come as one.
It may be this ancient belief that helped Japanese people stay together and preserve their culture and beliefs so well. Today, Japan is one of the most advanced societies in the world and it may be this unity, depicted on Japan’s flag their best kept secrets.
Now you know why Japan’s flag has a red dot.