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.

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