top of page

From (平成, heisei) to Auspicious Harmony (令和, reiwa)

Japan: from Universal Peace (平成, heisei) to Auspicious Harmony (令和, reiwa). But there's more behind the new name of the Japanese imperial era.

For the first time, the name doesn't originate from Chinese ancient texts, but comes from 8th century collection of Japanese literature 万葉集(Manyoshu): authored tanka (poems) as well as Japanese folklore. It seems to try to convey that 'culture is nurtured by people who bring their beautiful hearts together.' (人々が美しく心寄せ合う中で文化は生まれ育つ.)

The prime minister, in his press conference, uses a combination of keywords to signal reverence for 'tradition', 'state', 'culture' and 'people', but at the same time suggests that the new name welcomes 'change', 'hope' and 'positivity'.

Feels like a positive attempt to bridge gaps: indulge conservative right-wing traditionalists while at the same time speak to a newer generation of progressive youth. Let's see how it goes. The new era to officially start on 1 May.

(LinkedIn post 2019)


bottom of page