ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Opinion

Reiwa -- coming age of harmony and orderly plum blossom viewing

Japan may profit from globalization but sticks resolutely to its own time warp

| Japan
The gengo system provides a different concept of time. (Photo by Koji Uema) 

A new era is dawning in Japan -- and for once that is a no idle cliche. April 30 marks the close of the Heisei era, which began in 1989. On Monday, its successor was officially named Reiwa, a poetic expression taken from the Manyoshu, a 1300-year-old collection of poetry.

The "rei" of Reiwa normally means order, but in the poetic context connotes the season of plum blossom viewing, while the "wa" means harmony / peace. Interestingly, this is the first of Japan's 249 era names to have been taken from an indigenous, as opposed to a Chinese literary source.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more