Why is Goku Day on May 9?

May 9 Is Coined ‘Goku Day’ for a Surprisingly Obvious Reason

This will be the first Goku Day fans are celebrating without Akira Toriyama. But his legacy lives on, as fans of the Dragon Ball series around the world celebrate this important day. Goku Day isn’t just a long-standing tradition for fans. The event is an officially recognized holiday in Japan.

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In 2015, the Japan Anniversary Association finally agreed to Toei Animation’s request to make Goku Day an official Japanese holiday. The day of celebration, which is May 9, is a play on words in Japanese. Five in kanji can be read as “Go” (五), and the character for nine can be read as “Ku” (九).

If the two characters are placed beside each other, it can be read as “Goku.”

What is Goku Day All About?

Everyone’s Goku Day celebrations are different. Treat it like a second birthday for Goku, where people make art of him, play Dragon Ball games, or even watch entire seasons and movies of the Dragon Ball series.

Fans would often reminisce about their favorite Goku battle scenes, and some would even spend time answering quizzes about Goku. But many others would buy merchandise, including new action figure collaborations. It’s all about showing appreciation to Goku, and fans have many ways of expressing their love for the character.

(featured image: Toei Animation)


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Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) has been a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue since 2023. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy, she (happily) rejected law school in 2021 and has been a full-time content writer since. Vanessa is currently taking her Master's degree in Japanese Studies in hopes of deepening her understanding of the country's media culture in relation to pop culture, women, and queer people like herself. She speaks three languages but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.