Hi, it is me! Goldeneuglena!
Today I want to talk about Japanese era (元号), and to share what Japanese think about Reiwa?
What is Reiwa? ” When we were announced Reiwa, it looks like a festival.”
It is very strange. Actually, the changing of an era is the time when the emperor of Japan dies (=Tenno, 天皇), but this time, he is still alive and we celebrate the incoming era. Me too, I enjoyed this festive atmosphere, and I also had been excited to know the Kanji of the new era.
The retirement of the emperor is a symbol of our age because normally, the emperor should work until death. So I think that his retirement is good for the Japanse society, meaning that Japanese do not need to work too hard.
What’s about Heisei? ” I lived two eras, so I feel like I am already a grandmother…”
I was born at the end of the Showa era (昭和), and have lived through the Heisei era (平成) with youthfulness, and I will continue to live on the Reiwa era (令和) and probably live the next era as well. So I feel like I am a grandmother that lived three eras. My husband said to me ” Ah, you lived in two eras?! It is so interesting…!” What do you mean interesting, honey…?
There is a big ditch between who was born on Showa and on Heisei. The people born on Heisei feel like they are the young generation, even if they are not so different in ages. On the Showa side, they always say to Heisei born ”Were you born in Heisei?!”, so it looks like that youngster born during the Heisei era are like an alien.
But Reiwa era will come! It is good news for Heisei born and Showa born because both eras will be the old generation.
The war is over…
What’s about Reiwa? ”Do we really need to use the era…?”
From the practical side, I think it is not necessary to use the Japanese era.
Usually, the Japanese use the Japanese era on the official papers and documents, so if the era change, we also have to change theses format. It cost too much time and too much effort. Additionally, it is difficult to switch between the A.D. and the Japanese era.
However, I feel it interesting from the cultural side, because this system is rare and a very strong Japanese culture point.
There are few countries that are using their own era now. The Japanese committee of government has to think it over carefully, search so many classic sources to quote reference.
What’s about Reiwa?! ”Do you know the Japanese bills will be changed!”
Is it really needed now??? I don’t think so…
You know, the Japanese economy is not good and is always weak. We have a lot of problems concerning money, for example, education, welfare, pension, budget of politicians, etc… And Japan has so many debts. Why should we have to pay money to change the bill now?
Maybe it is just for the new era or for the Olympic 2020, if it so, I feel this change like the way of an old historic ruler.
Conclusion ーReiwa as the Japanese root?
I do not know exactly but, the Japanese government says that the reference of Reiwa is the old Poem book called ”Manyo-shu(万葉集)’ in Nara-era, and Shinzo Abe also said that it is the oldest poem book in Japan, so he probably wants to insist about this Japanese root.
But we can also find the reference of Reiwa in the Chinese old book, so it is not only Japanese!
I think that is confusing that the committee did not include an expert, like a professor of Japanese classic literature or Chinese literature.
Japan Prime Minister seems to be a patriotic person but his attitude is…how can I say…regrettable?