Sunday, 9 October 2011

Bite-sized Japanter - N°10

BSJ N°10 – on formal letters, it is customary in Japan not to write your date of birth / the date using the standard Gregorian calendar (though this is generally used for less formal things). Instead, the Japanese do as the British used to do for Acts of Parliament and speak in terms of the reign of the monarch: the Nengô (年号) or “Era name”. As such it turns out I was born in Heisei 1, or the first year of the reign of Akihito. Anyone born before the 8th January 1989 was born in the Shôwa era, that being the posthumous name given to Emperor Hirohito.  

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