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JOI Support staff and manager.

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A new era

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Japanese Calendar

The Japanese calendar official dating system has been in use since the late 7th century. The separate eras mark the regin of a particular emperor, but in ancient times, some new eras were named after specific major events.

If you live in Japan, it is very useful to remember your birth year using the Japanese Calendar system, because you need to know it for many official documents.

In May 2019, the current Japanese emperor is planning to abdicate due to age and health issues, and his son, the crown prince will succeed him as the new emperor. This means that there is a new era waiting in the wings, and a lot of people are waiting to see what name they give the new era.

Read this interesting blog by Japanese teacher Megumi Hachiyama and listen to the video in Japanese to learn some more vocabulary and pronunciation.

A new era








To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.





A new era

Have you ever heard the word 'Wareki' (or Japanese Calendar) ? In the Western Calendar this year is 2018, but in the Japanese Calendar, it is Heisei 30. This word Heisei is known as 'Genkou' (or Japanese era name) and when the year is expressed along with this era name which is peculiar to Japan, it is known as called the Wareki year.

By the way, the Japanese era name changes when his Imperial Majesty the emperor is changed and actually in May next year the current Heisei will change to a new era name. The new era name has not been announced yet, but there are some conditions to the selection of the era names. For example, it should be two Kanji characters and should be easy to read and write, and that it should also have a good meaning. Among the citizens there has been a lot of speculations over what the new era name will be, so there are many people waiting for moment of the announcement. Why don't you try using the Kanji you know and try to make a projection of what the new era name will be.

Incidentally, I have displayed the different era names in a table. If you say the year of your birth in Wareki or using the Japanese calendar, what would it be? Please look it up.

和暦(われき)・・・the Japanese calendar

西暦(せいれき)・・・the Western calendar

元号(げんごう)・・・Japanese era name

天皇陛下(てんのうへいか)・・・his Imperial Majesty




予想(よそう)を立(た)てる・・・make a projection



ちなみに・・・for your information


Hajimemashite everyone ! My name is Megumi Hachiyama. I live in Fukuoka prefecture. I have never lived anywhere else other than Fukuoka since I was born, but the nature here is so beautiful and the food is so delicious - I just love Fukuoka ! What part of Japanese or Japan are you interested in ?

I want to share with you the joy of that feeling you get when your "Wakaranai" (I don't understand) becomes "Wakaru" (I understand), and your "Wakaru" (I understand) becomes "Dekiru or Tsukaeru!" (I can use it !))... Looking forward to meeting you.

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Guest Tuesday, 26 October 2021