|Delving into the Intangibles|
|“A double life?” from Heisei to Reiwa|
the Coronation Day of the new Emperor,
might be a little difficult for foreigners to understand the recent events in
Well, let me explain.
parallel with the Gregorian calendar, we give the era names based on the reign
of the emperors. As a result of this, as from
back on history, we learn that a similar system was long practiced in Asian
counties such as
One century is a period of 100 years. Based on this tangible time unit, we can understand the sequence of history very well, but we Japanese feel something is lacking, say, a “scent of the time” we live in. In this respect, the era name or Gengo has the power to evoke nostalgic memories that cannot be expressed only in numbers. On hearing the word of eras like Heisei, Showa, Taisho, or Meiji, so many emotions and images surge up vividly to the mind of Japanese people. That is the merit of it, since we can live a double life. It’s a luxury in a sense.
Once the origin of the word of Reiwa is known, the overwhelming majority of Japanese people have accepted the word Reiwa favorably. In this combination of two simple tangible ideograms, we can feel the touch of the Intangibles: history, culture, tradition, and sensitivities of the Japanese. I, too, am ready to embrace it with pride and joy.