This week in Japan is "Golden Week", a consecutive string of national holidays. While companies and the stock markets are closed, the entire country is on vacation. Everyone, it seems, except Sony.
Popular Golden Week destinations traditionally include Hawaii, Okinawa or Guam, or at hotspots across the country. This year, with the Japanese economy in the toilet and the country still dealing with the earthquake, more people seem to be either traveling close to home or staying there, enjoying a break from the hustle and bustle of work.
Meanwhile Sony is working hard to rectify the PSN breach, which has compromised over 70 million registered accounts, with the possibility of ten million credit cards also being vulnerable. On Sunday, May 1, Sony execs held a press conference about the breach. The rest of the country started enjoying their Golden Week.
The Golden Week holidays kicked off this year on Friday, April 29. The day is "Showa Day" (昭和の日). The "Showa Era" was the reign of the Showa Emperor, Emperor Hirohito. During his lifetime, the day was the Emperor's Birthday, but after he died, the day was changed to "Greenery Day" (みどりの日), to celebrate nature. The Showa Emperor loved nature, so this was a way to honor the more peaceful aspects of his legacy.
However, in 2007, Greenery Day moved to May 4 due to revisions in Japanese public holidays that saw some days moved and others dropped. The day that was formerly Greenery Day became Showa Day to look back on the previous era (Japan is now in the Heisei Era, and the current Emperor's Birthday is December 23, a national holiday).
The other national holidays during Golden Week are May 3, Constitution Memorial Day (憲法記念日), and May 5, Children's Day (こどもの日). On May 3, 1947, the Japanese Constitution was enacted, and the day marks the country's democratic birth. On Children's Day, parents tend to do special things with their children, perhaps buy them a small toy or even a video game. Carp kites are raised and families with boys display gogatsu ningyo. The week is an important time to reflect and relax.
Sony certainly doesn't appear to be relaxing, but is reflecting on how its PSN could be compromised and what it must do to ensure it never happens again. This is a shitty Golden Week for Sony and PSN users, but with PSN slated to go back online sometime in the next few days, it's slightly less so.
Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome - game related and beyond.
(Top photo: Koichi Kamoshida | Getty)