Japan's national flag is called the Hinomaru. It came to be used as the national flag in the late nineteenth century. The flag depicts the sun as a red disc against a white background.
The lyrics of Japan's national anthem, "Kimigayo",trace their roots to a 31-syllable poem, or waka, that was written in the tenth century. "Kimigayo" took on its present form in the latter half of the nineteenth century, when a melody was added. The words of the song pray for enduring peace and prosperity in Japan.