The Next Japanese Era Is Here


By Dylan Orren-King, Staff Writer

The next Imperial Era name, Reiwa, has been revealed by the Japanese Government.

The history of Japan is defined by the Era’s name, as each name will normally display what the next couple of decades will be like. The significance of the name is felt throughout daily life for the Japanese populace as it appears on coins, official paperwork, drivers licenses, etc.

The current Imperial Era will end after Emperor Akihito’s abdication from power. This is extremely important, as he will be the first to do so in nearly two centuries. Power will be handed off to Crown Prince Naruhito on May 1st, 2019.

“Being Emperor is a huge honor in Japan but its unusual because I’m also very surprised.” said Kendra Levendusky, a Japanese Student at WHHS, “He’s probably going to get ridiculed by the media. I think that overall Japan is balanced between tradition and advancement. Socially, it’s changed but politically, not very much.”

The actual word, Reiwa, comes from two different parts. The normal meaning of Rei, can mean order, or commanding, it can also mean good or auspicious. Wa is often referred to as harmony, meaning that for the foreseeable future of Japan, they are looking for a bright and powerful future.

“Our nation is facing up to a big turning point, but there are lots of Japanese values that shouldn’t fade away,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters.

“I’m not as familiar with Japan’s monarchy, but assuming it’s a constitutional monarchy, I don’t think it’ll affect many things.” said Joseph Fleissner, an English Teacher at WHHS, “It doesn’t necessarily change the direction of the country except for culturally. Japan is of a rigidly classed mindset so I wonder if it’ll change at all.”

The current Era, Heisei, began in 1989, after the current Emperor took power. Heisei translates to, “Become Peace”. After the turnover on May, the era will have lasted thirty years.