In case you didn’t know, Japan has a lot of informal holidays. The inspiration for these holidays is usually related to how the date of the particular celebration relates to Japanese language. For example, February 22nd (2/22) is known as “Cat Day”, as the word for the number two in Japanese (ni) is close enough to the Japanese equivalent of “meow” (nyan). Similarly, “Dog Day” is on November 1st (11/1), where the three “ones” references the Japanese sound of a dog barking (wan-wan-wan). There’s even a “Pocky day” (a popular Japanese candy snack), that exists simply because when written in numerals (11/11), November 11th looks like four Pocky sticks! Now mixed readings of August 2nd have resulted in a clash of seemingly unrelated holidays–bunny day and panties day.
The Twitter conflict originates with different readings of 8/2–one with 8 as “pan” and 2 as “tsu” (Japanese phonetic pronunciation of “two”), and one with 8 as “ba” and 2 as “ni”. Being that this is 2016 and Twitter is the megaphone.
use to project our daily trends and obsessions, both hashtags made a run at the top of Japanese trends for a bit. Panties Day tweets consisted of many different celebrations of panties:
One one hand, you had gravure idols, models, and adult video actresses sporting their colors.
Minnie Mouse even got in on the fun.
Japanese oddity bookshop Village Vanguard reminded us that they sell panty hats.
So what about Bunny Day? Well, for more linguistic reasons, bunnies have more in common with panties than you think. In Japanese, the English word “bunny” has a connotation that is more associated with “bunny girl” cosplay than it is with actual rabbits. So naturally, the two holidays were able to co-exist on Twitter with posts like these from models and cosplayers.