The new era of Japan has arrived

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With the arrival of a new Emperor, a new era also arrives. Japan prepares for the Reiwa era

The new era of Japan has arrived

Unlike the western world, Japan carries the notion of time in two ways. The first is like the one we know: day, year and month. The second is based on the imperial era, or "gengō" which can be found in documents, newspapers, calendars, and coins. This was imperial change when there is a change of an emperor. This is why it is known as "an emperor, a name of the era".

Read in english: La nueva era de Japón ha llegado

According to El Nacional, this system was imported from China and began with the first era called Taika, starting at 645, opening the way for 247 more eras, with the entrant, Reiwa, being 248. However, the current method was established in 1979, "After an opinion poll conducted a few years earlier by the Cabinet Office, 87.5 percent of the public used gengō in their daily lives, resulting in a law that officially authorized the Cabinet to designate epochs," according to The Japan Times. Before, the emperor was solely responsible for the appointment of the era.

In this way, the current era, Heisei, which lasted 21 years and which means achieving peace ", will end at the end of April, when the current Emperor Akihito abdicates his position. Since 2016, the Emperor had announced his desire to retire due to his age and health problems.

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Reiwa, the new era

The Japanese Government announced the name Reiwa for its new imperial era. Inspired by its traditional literature and according to El Clarín, "the term arises from the combination of two characters that can be translated as" auspicious "or" order "and" harmony ", and is inspired by a song of 'Manyoshu', the most ancient of Japanese poems, compiled in the VIII century ".

In addition, and for the first time, Japanese characters will be used, instead of traditional Chinese characters. In the words of the Prime Minister, Shnizo Abe "puts the focus on traditional Japanese values." The era of the new Emperor, Naruhito of 59 years, will begin on May 1, 2019, that day, will refer to the year Reiwa 1.

Among the challenges of the new Emperor, will be to maintain the balance of traditional imperial life with the reality of the current world. For Kenneth Ruoff, director of the center of Japanese studies of the University of Portland and in dialogue with AFP, Naruhito "will do things with a somewhat more international perspective".

Not everything is happiness

In the middle of the celebration, a strange situation occurred for the Japanese. The holidays, due to the emperor's abdication, will be combined with the common Golden Week (composed of four national holidays that take place in the same week), therefore the Japanese will have 10 days of vacation. While for the rest of the world it would be a joy, according to a survey by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, 45% feel unhappy for vacation days.

In dialogue with Asahi Shimbun, Seishu Sato said that "to be honest, I do not know how to pass the time when they suddenly give us 10 days of vacation (...) if you want to go on a trip, there will be many people everywhere and Excursion costs have increased ... I could end up staying at my parents' house".


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LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

Translated from "La nueva era de Japón ha llegado"

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