About the meaning of the Japanese era : Gengo for Japanese people.

令和-Reiwa. The beginning of the year 2019. About the meaning of the Japanese era : Gengo for Japanese people.

Are foreigners who are basically not involved in the current conversion interested? For those who have even a little interest, the conversion will create a lot of questions.
For example, there are journalists in the world who are worried about Japan’s rightward trend as the era changed.
I do not know why they have such concerns. Probabry, many Japanese people will also feel so. However, the unknown system may inspire the imagination of the people of the world so much.

In Europe and the United States, the king (queen), the emperor, the power of the world, the custom of naming a certain period is not seen very much. In most cases, at such times the state may have disappeared, or if the state has continued, it may have been strongly in favor of continuing as the same era. No, Western people are very religious and they always respect God more than the head of state. The era exists as an infinite age that owns only one origin in each world.

On the other hand, in the East, as in some Western countries, there was a system in which government officials established them as they established the country. In China, in particular, the Yuan era has been used since around 100 BC, but it ended with the 1911 Singai revolution. The origin of the government era system in Japan is based on the establishment of 大化 : Taika in connection with the coup d’etat in 645. Today, it is the only long-term era system in the world.

Japan is the only long-standing single dynasty nation in the world, even as a dynasty system. According to the japanese history book, it has continue the 125s (soon 126s) and for more than 2,700 years. However, scientifically, there are also cases where doubts arise during the early period of reign. There is also doubt about continuity. However, deducting this does not change this fact, evaluating the year of the origin of the Gengo system. The throne of Kenneth it was in 承和 : Showa. Japan has continued for so long.

After that, in Japan, although there was many turmoil in the country of Nippon, the nation of Nippon continued in all administrations and systems. On the basis of that, the existence of the emperor family has been regarded as important regardless of the existence of the real power. This too is probably very rare in the world. The most serious crisis of the last king system continued was Japan’s defeat in World War II. It was an organization led by a single American commander who prevented this. The wiseness of GHQ, the occupation army after World War II, was to be able to have changed the policy to non-punishment with Emperor from execution of empeler by suppressing the majority opinion of the American people with evaluating the facts mentioned before and Showa Emperor himself, and so on. As a Japanese, I am astonished at the high level of intellectual and cultural level and superior management ability of the West in that time. Japan has been able to celebrate the birth of Reiwa thanks to the commander of the US Army Commander MacArthur.

The beginning of Japan since the early modern period is triggered by the request for the opening of the country by the West. It was a very big incident for Japan at that time that the Shogun opened the country against the rule without consulting the emperor. Japan’s debut of world trade was established in 1858 by military pressure from Western countries. Under the circumstances of colonization by the western powers of the Eurasian continent, with the Japanese colonization crisis, arguement for political policy and the state system arose, and a large civil conflict occurred. In the first place, at the colonization crisis, it is extremely dangerous for the country to be in a historical civil war. Japan’s level of management ability seems to be inherited as a national character and administrative tradition in Japan. My management ability is also low. Naturally, each country did not overlook this crisis. They designed the collapse of local administration. Some japanese talented people worked to settle this situation. As a result, “Taisei-Houkan: Return of Administration” by the Shogun was held in 1867, and in 1868 “Ousei-Hakko no Dai-Gourei: large order of return of the Emperor”) was issued, the coup was successful. It was the year before the Suez Canal was opened.

After all, excellent human resources who supported the end of the Edo shogunate and the begining of Meiji era, although there were bribes in their human relations, they were rare in the Eurasian continent and prevented from colonization due to the policy of strong country militia. I believe that there has been an impact of spiritual encouragement from the long royal history.

By the way, there were another crisis of Japanese era system in the late 13th century regarding. It consists major invasions by the two big were wars of the Gen country, including the Korean peninsula soldiers at that days. They caused a great deal of damage to Japan but in the end Japan won. It is a battle that became the root of the infamous Kamikaze in the West.

The Gengo : name of eras that have continued overcoming several crises have been given the thoughts of each era. Lists the expectations given to each era since modern times.

【明治 Meiji】 1868-
From the Chinese book ‘Yeikei’, I quote ‘聖人南面而聴天下、嚮明而治”. If the saints face the south and listen to politics, the heavens will turn to a brighter direction”. The meaning of these two characters is, respectively, the ‘明’ means bright, the ‘治’ means heal or the calm down. Together, they mean the hoped to be a bright and good country, in the sense that they will cure brightly. The Imperial Palace in the East, the residence of the Emperor, and the city, etc., are all south-facing. Kyoto is also basically south facing so the sirection of the left and the right are acording to that. This was adopted at the 11th nomination.
【大正 Taisho】 1912-
Similarly, “大亨以正、天之道也o” is quoted from “Yeikei”. The meaning of this is “A person who listens to everyone’s words correctly and acts is a person who finds the world.” The meaning of the two letters is ‘大’ means big or mass people, ‘正’ means positive. Adopted 5 times in the past 4 nominations. It was a time when Japanese government was strengthening its armed forces against the resource monopoly of developed countries.
【昭和 Showa】 1926-
Cited “百姓昭明、協和萬邦” from one of the four writings and scriptures of Confucian religion. The meaning is, “The countries have become friends by clarifying the position of farmers”. In the Edo period, ‘明和’ : Meiwa is used from this passage. The meaning of the two letters is that ‘昭’ means illuminates, the light and ‘和’ means sum, cooperates. We wished for the peace of the people and the coexistence and prosperity of the countries of the world. It was adopted at the first nomination. It was the year that Chiang Kai-shek started anti-communism combat forces in East Asia and japanese peple began to feel signs of going to World War II.
【平成 Heisei】 1989-
It depends on two books in China. ‘内平外成’:”Be Inside stablization, Outside will be achieve” from “Siki”, and ‘地平天成’:”Be ground stablization, World will be achieve” from “Syokyo”.
‘平; Hei’ means stability, ‘成 : Sei’ means achieve, it is hope that “the country of Japan, as well as the rest of the world, will be peaceful.” The time was in a state of global economic activity. It was a time when Japanese companies started to advance to advanced countries in the world using Japan money.

This time, the Reiwa was taken from Japanese books. 万葉集 : Manyoshu is Japan’s oldest existing “Wakashu : collection book of Waka”. Here, about 4500 works by people of all levels from the common people to the emperor have been selected for over 100 years. However, the quoted source is the introductory text of Volume 5 and Section of 32 Songs for 梅花 : Plum blossom. This is unfortunately not Waka. I was a little disappointing. In this introduction, a good moon of early spring has come out, and the scene where plum blossoms are being explained that the air is clean and the gentle wind is blowing is explained. In this sentence, ‘令’ : Rei means shiny and good, beautiful, ‘和’ : Wa means gentle. The ‘令嬢 (Rei-Jo)’ is the meaning of elegance lady. The japanese foreign ministry explains ‘和’ : Wa means harmony, but I think that the quoted part is “tender” but close. Because the extracted position is also far away in sentence, the meaning is also vague.

Now In Japan, plum blossoms, Manyoshu, and Nara, the capital of the era when it was selected, are discussed.

The city where the ‘Waka’ was read in has connection of Sugawara Michizane who was exiled by the political enemy because he was a wise and a popular person. He is famous for his relationship with plum. The place where sung in Waka and party of Waka held with beautiful moon, gentle wind and many plum blossom is in Dazaifu, Kyushu.

The era when many ‘Waka’ songs were read was in the 7th century the Nara period when the ‘Miyako’ capital was at Heijokyo. There are many songs related to Nara. There are many historical evidence of Manyoshu in Asuka, Nara. Asuka is also a place related to the coup where the first Gengo started.

By the way, in the world, there is a person who is concerned about Japan’s rightward inclination by looking up the character of the ‘Rei’ in the dictionary and relating the new Gengo ‘Reiwa’ and rightward inclination. However, in Japan, there are various topics on the new Gengo, and generally there is no one who relating ‘Reiwa’ with right-wing.
If there is a person in Japan that ties the ‘Reiwa’ to the right, it is only a right wing or left wing person. They can not help, because it is a daily job. However, perhaps right-wingers generally never express their opinion about name of era because the Emperor’s honor.
Negative journalists’ ideas do not change with them, but in many cases they are underinvestigated. In the first place, even historically, there is no way for someone involved to have a bad image meaning in the era of the Emperor.
If Japan turned to the right at this time, it is due to a different situation from this change of japanese era. Those who claim that Japan has made a right-handed move to “Reiwa” in later generations are correct only in the meaning of the temporal year simply representing the time.

The feature of this change of japanese era is transfer (not succession with death). Therefore, there is no sadness and this is just a good, very countrywide event. This is an example that has not been in Japan since modernization. The Emperor of Heisei is very stylish, even if he sees his activities so far. It is a wonderful personality.

In 2019, there will be a lot of hot topics in Japan for the reasons mentioned above.

With the above background, it can be said that the Japanese Era is of great significance. If you come to Japan for sightseeing, it will be interesting to note how the Japanese people have been nurtured, taking into account the complexity of the Japanese culture and the breadth of the contents of Waka. On what theme did people, including the common people, sing about Waka? Love and business dissatisfaction, banquets, scenery, flowers. Not only cherry blossoms, but also beautiful tourist spots of plum blossoms. You think that the world of Waka will expand if you think about the past scenery of the building to visit. When you think of Kyoto clothes, I think you feel more culture. I think you can feel the slow time when you think about the slow way of speaking at that time. We welcome tourists who are interested in Japanese culture more than Japanese. Japanese people are changing with the passage of time. In particular, there is a big difference between Japanese born in Taisho and Japanese born in Heisei. The good culture and nature of Japanese people have faded. At the end of the Reiwa, you foreign fans of Japan may be supporting Japanese culture.

The last is a personal impression for Reiwa.

If the first year of Reiwa was 2020, I was relieved of the hardship of converting the western year and Reiwa year to each other.
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