Era, thy name is Seika


Countdown to the first day of the Heisei Era – night of 07-08 January 1989

Twenty years ago to this day, on 08 January 1989, the Showa Era passed into history and the Heisei Era began. The Showa Emperor had died the day before and his son Akihito was now reigning, and in accordance with tradition a new era name was chosen to mark the transition to a new occupant of the Chrysanthemum Throne.


Announcement of the Showa Emperor’s death, followed by the unveiling of the new era name – 07 January 1989

(Note: Another version of the same video – with a running commentary/voice-over in English – is available here. I would recommend watching the original version before the English version, since the announcement of the new era name comes off a little more dramatically without the English-language script overlaid upon it.)

Now this anniversary would have passed quietly without any comment from me, were it not for an interesting piece of information that I picked up this morning on my usual visit to the Mainichi Daily News website.

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