InterVoices: Study Abroad E-Magazine
The Heisei 平成 era is coming to an end in April!
- Author: Lourdes Zilberberg Oviedo
- Category: Interculturality
Heisei has been one of the most important eras in Japan. The Asian country uses two types of calendars: the Gregorian, like Western nations, and the Imperial, based on the emperor’s regency.
The Imperial calendar was created in 645 AD and was conceived to mark the beginning and end of any imperial government. In the year 1868, during the Meiji era, it was agreed that any new era would start on the Emperor’s Ascension Day and will end with his death.
The current era started in 1989, one day after the passing of Emperor Hiroito, known as Showa (taking the name of his era).
The new period is called Heisei and officially started on January 8th, 1989 with the ascension of Prince Akihito, Hirohito’s oldest son.
At the time, the new name “Heisei” 平成 was revealed by the chief of cabinet Minister Keizo Obuchi at a press pre conference. This word originates from classic Chinese and means that if peace is achieved at home, good relations will be established with other nations.
The Heisei era will come to an end on April 30th, 2019, when Emperor Akihito will abdicate and Prince Naruhito will become the new emperor at the age of 59. This is the first abdication ceremony in more than 200 years, and it is mainly due to Emperor Akihito’s advanced age.
On his 85th birthday on December 23rd, 2018, the pacifist emperor Akihito quoted that he was proud of seeing the Heisei era ending without war.
What will be the name of the new era? Any guesses? The name of the new era will be officially confirmed on April 1st, 2019.