New Era: 令和

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Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announcing the name of the new era on April 1st.

When the Japanese Emperor passes away, or in this case, abdicates the throne, the name of the Japanese Era changes. For 31 years, it has been the Heisei (平成) Era. On April 1st, it was announced that the new era name will be Leiwa (令和) from May 1st… and it was no April Fool’s joke either. And on May 1st, the Emperor, who is only a figurehead like Queen Elizabeth and has no reigning power, will retire, and a new era will begin! Just three more days to Leiwa!

Good-bye, Heisei, and good morning, Leiwa!

( Note: Actually, it’s spelled “Reiwa,” but I wrote down “Leiwa” on purpose because it’s easier to pronounce. )