-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Tue, 13 Jul 1999 17:52:42 -0700

At 23:50 7/12/1999 -0400, you wrote:
>Sorry about the OT, but does anyone know where I can find a web site that
>may clue me in on the Japanese Calendar system? I can't figure out what
>year some books were printed since the year refers to the number of years
>based on the emperor. Please help.

There are *two* Japanese calendar systems. One is a traditional Asian
lunar calendar dating back to the purported ascension of First Emperor
Jimmu in 660 BC. By this reckoning, called Nihon Kiyomi, the current year
is NK 2659.

The other calendar is the one to which you refer, based on the reigns of
the various emperors. The current reign is Heisei, which began with the
ascension of Akihito in 1989, so you convert AD to Heisei by subtracting
1988 and from Heisei to AD by adding 1988. By this reckoning, the current
year is Heisei 11.

Previous to Heisei was Showa, which began with the ascension of Hirohito in
1926, so subtract 1925 from any AD date between 1926 and 1988, inclusive.
By this reckoning, Gundam debuted in Showa 54. I was born in Showa 26.

Prior to Showa is a short reign whose details elude me, but I think the
name of the reign is Toshi and it began in 1912. Subtract 1911 from any AD
date between 1912 and 1925, inclusive. My dear friend Iva Toguri was born
in Toshi 5.

The earliest era with which I'm familiar is the Meiji, which began in 1868
with the ascension of Mutsuhito. Subtract 1867 from any AD date between
1868 and 1911, inclusive. The American Centennial was in Meiji 9 and the
Panama Canal was constructed in Meiji 43.

If you've got anything from before the Meiji Restoration, you're on your own!


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