The end of the Heisei era

The Japanese imperial era of Heisei 1989 began on Sunday, January 8 and ends on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Recently in Japan, the local media have been highlighting the successes, trends and changes that were made within Japanese society within this period.

The period encompassed the 'Bubble Era' of financial and economic successes when Japan rose to great heights in industry.

The end of an era is a special time in Japan and people have been trying to guess the name of and the events that are likely to occur within the next era. In this Japanese language learning blog by Japanese teacher Ayako Suzuki, Suzuki sensei talks about this change in Japanese society.

Read this interesting blog, listen to Japanese speaking on the video on YouTube, and also learn some new vocabulary and Kanji from the different versions below.

New Japanese Gengo name







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


 日本(にほん)には最初(さいしょ)の元号(げんごう)「大化(たいか)」から現在(げんざい)の「平成(へいせい)」まで247の元号(げんごう)が存在(そんざい)しますが、元号(げんごう)に使(つか)われている漢字(かんじ)の中(なか)で、最(もっと)も使用(しよう)頻度(ひんど)が高(たか)いのは「永(えい) だそうです。29回(かい)使(つか)われています。この「永(えい)」という漢字(かんじ)は「長(なが)く続(つづ)く」という意味(いみ)を持(も)っています。 


New Japanese Gengo name

Japan, in addition to the Christian era, also uses a Japanese era name called “Gengo” and the current Japanese era or “Gengo” name is 'Heisei'. The Christian calendar year 2019 in the Japanese era naming is known as 'Hesei 31'. However, this Heisei era is due to finish on April 30th and it has been decided that on May 1st a new Japanese era will begin. The reason for this is that on May 1st, a new Japanese emperor will ascend to the throne. In Japan currently, it is decided that each emperor has a single era name.

From the first “Gengo” era name, which was 'Taika', up to the current 'Heisei' there have been 247 different “Gengo” eras, but among the Kanji or Chinese characters used in these names, the most frequently used Kanji has been 'Ei' ( 永). It has been used 29 times. This Kanji 'Ei' ( 永) has a meaning of long continuance.

The new “Gengo” will be made public a month before the changeover, on April 1st . We are looking forward to the announcement of the new name while making guesses as to what it will be.

西暦(せいれき)  the Christian era; Anno Domini 

元号(げんごう)   Japanese era name

即位(そくい)する  ascend the throne

頻度(ひんど)  frequency

改元(かいげん) change the name of an era

公表(こうひょう)   make public


Konnichiwa. My name is Ayako Suzuki.
I live in Tochigi prefecture with my husband and two children. Tochigi has two towns that are very popular tourist attractions; Nikko, which is famous for its World Heritage shrine and its wonderful nature, and Mashiko which is famous for its pottery. Its only two hours by train from Tokyo, so if you get that chance, please come and visit Tochigi.
Through the language of Japanese, I am happy to and looking forward to meeting you all. Lets study Japanese together.

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