Thank you for joining TFWT hosted tour visiting the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace on April 27. We welcomed 13 guests from Finland, USA, France, Australia, Hong Kong, UK, Germany and The Philippines.
Now in Japan, we are all excited about advent of new Japanese era, Reiwa, which is effective on 1st May. Japan is a unique country in the sense that we deploy two different calendars, western and Japanese own calendar or Gengo. This Gengo can be described as the name of emperor’s reign and only changed when a new emperor is ascended the throne in accordance with the current Japanese law.
However, in the past, it was changed multiple times for a variety of reasons within the same emperor’s reign. For example, in Meiwa 9 (1772), a major conflagration swept through the central parts of Edo (current Tokyo) which left around 20,000 deaths including 4,000 who went missing. This great fire of Meiwa is later presumed as one of the three greatest fires happened during the Edo period (1603 – 1868). Confronting this massive disaster, people started rumoring “The great fire happened because of Gengo – Meiwa 9, which sounds exactly same as the Japanese word: “Meiwaku” or “In trouble!!”. Meiwa was immediately abolished and replaced by new Gengo “ Anei”.
While writing this article, I just realize my home is located in vicinity to the place where the great fire of Meiwa broke out. I do hope this is just a coincidence and no big disaster will occur in the upcoming new period of Reiwa. Wish you all Happy New Japanese Year!
(Posted by Kenta)