Japan Says Goodbye To The Heisei Era

Screenshot: ANNnewsCH

The current Japanese imperial era ends today when Emperor Akihito abdicates the Chrysanthemum Throne. It is the end of an era.

The Heisei Period began on January 8, 1989 when Akihito ascended to the throne. The day prior, his father, Hirohito, had passed away, ending the Showa Era (1926-1989). Traditionally, new eras begin when the current emperor passes away, but Akihito decided to give up the throne, making way for his son’s coronation.

While the country isn’t mourning a death, this imperial succession is still bittersweet, bidding adieu to the nostalgic memories of the previous era and optimistically looking forward to what’s next.

The new era, called Reiwa, will begin starting tomorrow.


    Might seem like an oddity to many but we get to witness a unique event that literally defines the history of a nation and its culture.

      Maybe... But really, what impact will it have? Hasn't he been mostly a figurehead?

        For the most part but I mean it's how they measure their history, as opposed to how we tend to follow structured increments like the 80's and 90's, decades, centuries etc
        It's also not something many people would've had access to seeing back in the late 80's (from a foreign perspective) and likely the last time any of us will see it again.
        Not saying it's some huge historical deal, just that in context it's a fascinating insight.

        Japanese religion, culture, business, politics, even their media are influenced by things like this. The emperor may not have a lot of official power, but he and his family are hugely important figures who have massive sway on public opinion and (indirectly) on governmental policy.
        Even the kanji chosen and where they sourced it is a big deal that will have long term knock on effects.

    That Godzilla tweet is an odd choice. Almost like they just threw up heaps of tweets with the word Heisei in it.

      Does seem weird but you may have noticed that when folks talk about films in Japan they get assigned to the different eras.
      You might have heard the early Godzilla films get referred to along side the Showa Era or just mention Showa Godzilla.

      It really is similar to how we group time into decades. If there was a retrospective on say the Reagan years in America, there would definitely be reflections on the media of the time because the movies of the era reflect the society of that era.

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