List of Japanese eras

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The List of Japanese eras is a traditional calendar system which began during the reign of Emperor Kōtoku in the 7th century. This calendar has been in use in Japan since the beginning of the 8th century.[1]

The historical Japanese calendar system defines and parses time in terms of ordinal numbers.[2]

Usage[change | edit source]

Each new Japanese era (年号, nengō,?, lit. "year name") was usually started soon after the beginning of the reign of a new emperor. Era names were also changed due to other events.[3] Staring in the reign of Emperor Yōzei, the tradition of naming eras because of good omens changed. Instead, the name of an era might be chosen to ward off something bad.[4]

The first day of the first year of a nengō (元年 gannen?) started whenever the emperor decided. This first year continued until the next lunar new year, which is understood to be the start of the nengō's second year.[5]

To change a Japanese year to a Western or Gregorian calendar year, find the first year of the nengō (see list below). When found, subtract 1, and add the number of the Japanese year. For example, the 23rd year of the Shōwa period (Shōwa 23) was 1948:

ILLUSTRATION: 1926 − 1 = 1925 ..., and then 1925 + 23 = 1948 ... or Shōwa 23.
CONVERSION TABLE: Gregorian calendar years / nengō
Year 1 Kanji Romanization Meaning Notes
Asuka period
645 大化 Taika "Great Reform"[6] Emperor Kōtoku, 645-654.[7] Also known as "Great Development"[8]
650 白雉 Hakuchi "White Pheasant"[9]
654 Naming of eras temporarily discontinued from 654-686
686 朱鳥 Shuchō "Red bird of the south"[10] also Suchō, Akamitori or Akamidori; Emperor Temmu, 672-686.[11]
686 Naming of eras temporarily discontinued from 686-701
701 大宝 Taihō "Great Law"[6] or "Great Treasure"[12] also Daihō; Emperor Mommu, 697-707.[13]
704 慶雲 Keiun - also Kyōun; Empress Gemmei, 707-715.[14]
708 和銅 Wadō "Japanese Copper"[15]
Nara period
715 霊亀 Reiki - Empress Genshō, 715-724.[16]
717 養老 Yōrō -
724 神亀 Jinki "Sacred Tortoise"[4] also Shinki; Emperor Shōmu, 724-749.[17]
729 天平 Tenpyō "Heavenly Peace"[18] also Tenbyō or Tenhei
749 天平感宝 Tenpyō-kanpō "Gratitude for Treasure"[19] also Tenbyō-kanpō
749 天平勝宝 Tenpyō-shōhō "Heavenly Peace and Victorious Buddhism"[20] also Tenbyō-shōbō or Tenpei-shōhō; Empress Kōken, 749-758.[21]
757 天平宝字 Tenpyō-hōji "Lucky Inscription"[22] also Tenbyō-hōji or Tenpei-hōji; Emperor Junnin, 758-764;[23] Empress Shōtoku, 764-770.[24]
765 天平神護 Tenpyō-jingo "Divine Protection"[25] also Tenbyō-jingo or Tenhei-jingo
767 神護景雲 Jingo-keiun "Divine Merit"[26]
770 宝亀 Hōki - Emperor Kōnin, 770-781.[27]
781 天応 Ten'ō - Emperor Kammu, 781-806.[28]
782 延暦 Enryaku "Prolonged Succession"[29]
Heian period
806 大同 Daidō - Emperor Heizei, 806-809;[30] Emperor Saga, 809-823.[31]
810 弘仁 Kōnin - Emperor Junna, 823-833.[32]
824 天長 Tenchō - Emperor Ninmyō, 833-850.[33]
834 承和 Jōwa "Flourishing Treasure"[34] also Shōwa or Sōwa
848 嘉祥 Kashō "Good Augury"[35] also Kajō; Emperor Montoku, 850-858.[36]
851 仁寿 Ninju -
854 斉衡 Saikō -
857 天安 Ten'an - also Tennan; Emperor Seiwa, 858-876.[37]
859 貞観 Jōgan - Emperor Yōzei, 876-884.[38]
877 元慶 Gangyō - also Gankyō or Genkei; Emperor Kōkō, 884-887.[39]
885 仁和 Ninna - also Ninwa; Emperor Uda, 887-897.[40]
889 寛平 Kanpyō "Liberal Peace"[41] also Kanpei or Kanbyō or Kanbei or Kanhei; Emperor Daigo, 887-930.[42]
898 昌泰 Shōtai -
901 延喜 Engi -
923 延長 Enchō - Emperor Suzaku, 930-946.[43]
931 承平 Jōhei - also Shōhei
938 天慶 Tengyō "Heavenly Felicitation"[44] also Tenkei or Tenkyō; Emperor Murakami, 946-967.[45]
947 天暦 Tenryaku - also Tenreki
957 天徳 Tentoku -
961 応和 Ōwa -
964 康保 Kōhō - Emperor Reizei, 967-969.[46]
968 安和 Anna - also Anwa; Emperor En'yū, 969-984.[47]
970 天禄 Tenroku -
973 天延 Ten'en -
976 貞元 Jōgen - also Teigen
978 天元 Tengen
983 永観 Eikan - also Yōkan; Emperor Kazan, 984-986.[48]
985 寛和 Kanna - also Kanwa; Emperor Ichijō, 986-1011.[49]
987 永延 Eien - also Yōen
988 永祚 Eiso - also Yōso
990 正暦 Shōryaku - also Jōryaku or Shōreki
995 長徳 Chōtoku -
999 長保 Chōhō -
1004 寛弘 Kankō - Emperor Sanjō, 1011-1016.[50]
1012 長和 Chōwa - Emperor Go-Ichijō, 1016-1036.[51]
1017 寛仁 Kannin -
1021 治安 Jian - also Chian
1024 万寿 Manju -
1028 長元 Chōgen - Emperor Go-Suzaku, 1036-1045.[52]
1037 長暦 Chōryaku - also Chōreki
1040 長久 Chōkyū -
1044 寛徳 Kantoku - Emperor Go-Reizei, 1045-1068.[53]
1046 永承 Eishō - also Eijō or Yōjō
1053 天喜 Tengi - also Tenki
1058 康平 Kōhei -
1065 治暦 Jiryaku - also Chiryaku
1069 延久 Enkyū - Emperor Go-Sanjō, 1068-1073.[54]
1074 承保 Jōhō - also Shōhō or Shōho; Emperor Shirakawa, 1073-1086.[55]
1077 承暦 Jōryaku - also Shōryaku or Shōreki
1081 永保 Eihō - also Yōhō
1084 応徳 Ōtoku -
1087 寛治 Kanji - Emperor Horikawa, 1087-1107.[56]
1094 嘉保 Kahō -
1096 永長 Eichō - also Yōchō
1097 承徳 Jōtoku - also Shōtoku
1099 康和 Kōwa -
1104 長治 Chōji -
1106 嘉承 Kashō - also Kajō or Kasō; Emperor Toba, 1107-1123.[57]
1108 天仁 Tennin -
1110 天永 Ten'ei - also Ten'yō
1113 永久 Eikyū - also Yōkyū
1118 元永 Gen'ei -
1120 保安 Hōan - Emperor Sutoku, 1123-1142.[58]
1124 天治 Tenji - also Tenchi
1126 大治 Daiji - also Taiji
1131 天承 Tenshō - also Tenjō
1132 長承 Chōshō - also Chōjō
1135 保延 Hōen -
1141 永治 Eiji -
1142 康治 Kōji - Emperor Konoe, 1142-1155.[59]
1144 天養 Ten'yō - also Tennyō
1145 久安 Kyūan -
1151 仁平 Ninpei - also Ninpyō or Ninbyō or Ninhyō or Ninhei
1154 久寿 Kyūju - Emperor Go-Shirakawa, 1155-1158.[60]
1156 保元 Hōgen - also Hogen; Emperor Nijō, 1158-1165.[61]
1159 平治 Heiji - also Byōji
1160 永暦 Eiryaku "Everlasting Happiness"[62] also Yōryaku
1161 応保 Ōhō -
1163 長寛 Chōkan - also Chōgan
1165 永万 Eiman - also Yōman; Emperor Rokujō, 1165-1168.[63]
1166 仁安 Nin'an - also Ninnan; Emperor Takakura, 1168-1180.[63]
1169 嘉応 Kaō -
1171 承安 Jōan - also Shōan
1175 安元 Angen -
1177 治承 Jishō - also Jijō or Chishō; Emperor Antoku, 1180-1185.[64]
1181 養和 Yōwa -
1182 寿永 Juei - Emperor Go-Toba, 1183-1198.[65]
1184 元暦 Genryaku -
1185 文治 Bunji - also Monchi
1190 建久 Kenkyū - Emperor Tsuchimikado, 1198-1210.[66]
Kamakura period
1199 正治 Shōji -
1201 建仁 Kennin -
1204 元久 Genkyū -
1206 建永 Ken'ei - also Ken'yō
1207 承元 Jōgen - also Shōgen; Emperor Juntoku, 1210-1221.[67]
1211 建暦 Kenryaku -
1213 建保 Kenpō - also Kenhō
1219 承久 Jōkyū - also Shōkyū; Emperor Chūkyō, 1221;.[68] Emperor Go-Horikawa, 1221-1232.[69]
1222 貞応 Jōō - also Teiō
1224 元仁 Gennin -
1225 嘉禄 Karoku -
1227 安貞 Antei - also Anjō
1229 寛喜 Kangi - also Kanki
1232 貞永 Jōei - also Teiei; Emperor Shijō, 1232-1242.[70]
1233 天福 Tenpuku - also Tenfuku
1234 文暦 Bunryaku - also Monryaku or Monreki
1235 嘉禎 Katei -
1238 暦仁 Ryakunin - also Rekinin
1239 延応 En'ō - also Ennō
1240 仁治 Ninji - also Ninchi; Emperor Go-Saga, 1242-1246.[71]
1243 寛元 Kangen - Emperor Go-Fukakusa, 1246-1260.[72]
1247 宝治 Hōji -
1249 建長 Kenchō -
1256 康元 Kōgen - Emperor Kameyama, 1260-1274.[73]
1257 正嘉 Shōka -
1259 正元 Shōgen -
1260 文応 Bun'ō - also Bunnō
1261 弘長 Kōchō -
1264 文永 Bun'ei - Emperor Go-Uda, 1274-1287.[74]
1275 建治 Kenji -
1278 弘安 Kōan ... Emperor Fushimi, 1287-1298.[75]
1288 正応 Shōō - also Shō-ō
1293 永仁 Einin - Emperor Go-Fushimi, 1298-1301.[76]
1299 正安 Shōan - Emperor Go-Nijō, 1301-1308.[77]
1302 乾元 Kengen -
1303 嘉元 Kagen ...
1306 徳治 Tokuji -
1308 延慶 Enkyō "Becoming Prolonged"[78] also Engyō or Enkei; Emperor Hanazono, 1308-1318.[79]
1311 応長 Ōchō -
1312 正和 Shōwa -
1317 文保 Bunpō - also Bunhō; Emperor Go-Daigo, 1318-1339.[80]
1319 元応 Gen'ō - also Gennō
1321 元亨 Genkyō -
1324 正中 Shōchū -
1326 嘉暦 Karyaku -
1329 元徳 Gentoku -
1331 元弘 Genkō -
1334 建武 Kenmu - also Kenbu
Nanboku-chō period
*Nanboku-chō Southern Court
1336 延元 Engen ...
1340 興国 Kōkoku ...
1346 正平 Shōhei ...
1370 建徳 Kentoku ...
1372 文中 Bunchū ...
1375 天授 Tenju ...
1381 弘和 Kōwa ...
1384 元中 Genchū ... Genchū 9 becomes Meitoku 3 in post Nanboku-chō reunification
*Nanboku-chō Northern Court
1332 正慶 Shōkyō ... also Shōkei
1333 Northern court not in existence between 1333 and 1336; no era names apply from 1333 to 1338.
1338 暦応 Ryakuō ... also Rekiō
1342 康永 Kōei ...
1345 貞和 Jōwa ... also Teiwa
1350 観応 Kannō ... also Kan'ō
1352 文和 Bunna ... also Bunwa
1356 延文 Enbun ...
1361 康安 Kōan ...
1362 貞治 Jōji ... also Teiji
1368 応安 Ōan ...
1375 永和 Eiwa ...
1379 康暦 Kōryaku ...
1381 永徳 Eitoku ...
1384 至徳 Shitoku ...
1387 嘉慶 Kakei ... also Kakyō
1389 康応 Kōō ...
1390 明徳 Meitoku - Meitoku 3 replaces Genchū 9 in post-Nanboku-chō reunification
Muromachi period
1394 応永 Ōei ... Emperor Shōkō, 1412-1428.[81]
1428 正長 Shōchō ... Emperor Go-Hanazono, 1428-1464.[82]
1429 永享 Eikyō ... also Eikō
1441 嘉吉 Kakitsu ... also Kakichi
1444 文安 Bun'an ... also Bunnan
1449 宝徳 Hōtoku ...
1452 享徳 Kyōtoku ...
1455 康正 Kōshō ...
1457 長禄 Chōroku ...
1460 寛正 Kanshō ... Emperor Go-Tsuchimikado, 1464-1500.[83]
1466 文正 Bunshō ... also Monshō
1467 応仁 Ōnin ...
1469 文明 Bunmei ...
1487 長享 Chōkyō ...
1489 延徳 Entoku ...
1492 明応 Meiō ... Emperor Go-Kashiwabara, 1500-1526.[84]
1501 文亀 Bunki ...
1504 永正 Eishō ...
1521 大永 Daiei ... Emperor Go-Nara, 1526-1557.[85]
1528 享禄 Kyōroku -
1532 天文 Tenbun - also Tenmon
1555 弘治 Kōji - Emperor Ōgimachi, 1557-1586.[86]
1558 永禄 Eiroku -
1570 元亀 Genki -
1573 天正 Tenshō "Heavenly Virtue"[87] Emperor Go-Yōzei, 1586-1611.[88]
1592 文禄 Bunroku "Enlightened Benevolence"[87]
1596 慶長 Keichō "Eternal Jubilance"[87] also Kyōchō; Emperor Go-Mizunoo, 1611-1629.[89]
Edo period
1615 元和 Genna "Commencement of Concord"[12] also Genwa
1624 寛永 Kan'ei "Permanent Liberality"[90] Empress Meishō, 1629-1643;[91] Emperor Go-Kōmyō, 1643-1654.[92]
1644 正保 Shōhō - -
1648 慶安 Keian also Kyōan
1652 承応 Jōō - also Shōō; Emperor Go-Sai, 1655-1663.[93]
1655 明暦 Meireki - also Myōryaku or Meiryaku
1658 万治 Manji - -
1661 寛文 Kanbun - Emperor Reigen, 1663-1687.[94]
1673 延宝 Enpō - also Enhō
1681 天和 Tenna "Peace of Heaven"[95] also Tenwa
1684 貞享 Jōkyō - Emperor Higashiyama, 1687-1709.[96]
1688 元禄 Genroku "Origin of Good Fortune"[95] -
1704 宝永 Hōei - Emperor Nakamikado, 1709-1735.[97]
1711 正徳 Shōtoku "Correct Virtue"[98] Emperor Go-Momozono, 1771-1779.[99] -
1716 享保 Kyōhō - Emperor Sakuramachi, 1735-1747.[100]
1736 元文 Genbun - -
1741 寛保 Kanpō - also Kanhō
1744 延享 Enkyō - Emperor Momozono, 1747-1762.[101]
1748 寛延 Kan'en - -
1751 宝暦 Hōreki "Valuable Calendar" or "Valuable Almanac"[5] also Hōryaku; Empress Go-Sakuramachi, 1762-1771.[102]
1764 明和 Meiwa "Radiant Harmony"[103] Emperor Go-Momozono, 1771-1779.[99]
1772 安永 An'ei "Eternal Tranquility"[104] Emperor Kōkaku, 1780-1817.[105]
1781 天明 Tenmei "Heavenly Radiance"[106] also a "popular expression meaning 'difficulty'"[106]
1789 寛政 Kansei "Lenient Government" [107] from Sui Dynasty phrase, "When conducting government, do so with lenience"[108]
1801 享和 Kyōwa - -
1804 文化 Bunka - Emperor Ninkō, 1817-1846.[109]
1818 文政 Bunsei - -
1830 天保 Tenpō "Heavenly Protection"[110] also Tenhō; name links with Tenna and Kyōhō[111]
1844 弘化 Kōka - Emperor Kōmei, 1846-1867.
1848 嘉永 Kaei "Celebration of Eternity"[112] or "Eternal Felicity"[113]
1854 安政 Ansei "Tranquil Government"[113]
1860 万延 Man'en "Ten Thousand Years Prolonged"[114]
1861 文久 Bunkyū -
1864 元治 Genji -
1865 慶応 Keiō "Joyous Concord"[115]
Modern Japan
1868 明治 Meiji "Enlightened Rule"[116] Emperor Meiji, 1868-1912. Also known as "Enlightened Government" or "Brilliant Rule"[115]
1912 大正 Taishō "Great Justice"[117] Emperor Taishō, 1912-1926.[118]
1926 昭和 Shōwa "Brilliant Harmony"[116] Emperor Shōwa, 1926-1989.[118]
1989 平成 Heisei "Achieving Peace"[116] Akihito, 1989-present [the reigning emperor].[118]
Timeline of Japanese era names

Related pages[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]

  1. Brown, Delmer M. (1979). Gukanshō, p.32.
  2. Crump, Thomas. (1992).The Japanese Numbers Game: the Use and Understanding of Numbers in Modern Japan, p. 109.
  3. Kawada, Ikaku et al. (2001). Drifting toward the southeast : the story of five Japanese castaways : a complete translation of Hyoson kiryaku, as told to members of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1851, p. 138.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bialock, David T. (2007). Eccentric Spaces, Hidden Histories: Narrative, Ritual, and Authority from The Chronicles of Japan to The Tale of the Heike, p. 63.
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  6. 6.0 6.1 Beasley, William. (1999). The Japanese Experience: A Short History of Japan, p. 24.
  7. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 47-50; Brown, pp. 266-267; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, pp. 132-133.
  8. Lane-Poole, Stanley. (1894). The Life of Sir Harry Parkes, p. 461.
  9. Titsingh, p. 49.
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  12. 12.0 12.1 Munro, Neil. (1904). Coins of Japan, p. ix.
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  14. Brown, p. 271; Varley, p. 140; Titsingh, pp. 63-65.
  15. Titsingh, p. 63.
  16. Brown, pp. 271-272; Varley, pp. 140-141; Titsingh, pp. 65-67.
  17. Brown, pp. 272-273; Varley, pp. 141-143; Titsingh, pp. 67-73.
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  25. Munro, p. 46.
  26. Munro, p. 45.
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  32. Brown, p. 282-283; Varley, p. 164; Titsingh, pp. 103-106.
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  34. Munro, p. 63.
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  41. Munro, p. 71.
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