Goku enters a fighting position on an alien world

Is Goku Day A National Holiday? Answered

For the past 40 years, Dragon Ball has been one of the most enduring franchises in the world. Created by Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball has expanded from manga to numerous anime series and movies, and scores of video games. Fans worldwide recognize May 9 as Goku Day.

Recommended Videos

Named for Dragon Ball’s iconic protagonist, Son Goku, Goku Day is widely commemorated by fans sharing their favorite Dragon Ball art and moments online as a sort of global celebration. Here’s if Goku Day goes beyond being a strictly online fan anniversary and if it’s actually considered to be a national holiday.

Is Goku Day a National Holiday?

Goku battle-damaged and transformed into Super Saiyan Blue

Though Goku Day isn’t an actual holiday in most parts of the world, including the United States, it does hold a special, formalized distinction in Japan. In 2015, the Japan Anniversary Association officially recognized Goku Day as a celebration of sorts, complete with a special event in Tokyo and screening of the then-most recent Dragon Ball film, Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection “F” attended by longtime Goku voice actor Masako Nozawa.

To be clear, even with this recognition, Goku Day isn’t a national holiday in the sense that the federal government, banks, and most local businesses are closed in observance of the special day. This makes Goku Day slightly more official than its closest American counterpart, May the 4th among the Star Wars fandom, something more akin to Arbor Day or Flag Day in the United States, just one that recognizes Dragon Ball and its internationally renowned protagonist.

Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama got to see his most famous work evolve into a global phenomenon and even get its own holiday in his native Japan. Though not perhaps official enough to be federally observed, the formal recognition on top of the worldwide outpouring of appreciation for Dragon Ball is certainly a big deal to the franchise and its countless fans.


The Escapist is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Mushoku Tensei Season 2 Episode 19 Release Date Confirmed
Read Article Demon Slayer Season 4 Episode 3 Release Date Confirmed
Read Article Why Can’t Nezuko Talk in Demon Slayer? Answered
Related Content
Read Article Mushoku Tensei Season 2 Episode 19 Release Date Confirmed
Read Article Demon Slayer Season 4 Episode 3 Release Date Confirmed
Read Article Why Can’t Nezuko Talk in Demon Slayer? Answered
Author
Sam Stone
Sam Stone is a longtime entertainment news journalist and columnist, covering everything from movies and television to video games and comic books. Sam also has bylines at CBR, Popverse, Den of Geek, GamesRadar+, and Marvel.com. He's been a freelance contributor with The Escapist since October 2023, during which time he's covered Mortal Kombat, Star Trek, and various other properties. Sam remembers what restful sleep was. But that was a long time ago.