Hello and Welcome, Reiwa!

by Keiko Miki May 08, 2019 2 min read

Hello and Welcome, Reiwa!

Konnichiwa, everyone! How are you doing?

 

As some of you may know, we have got the new era in Japan... it's called Reiwa! For those who don't know the fact, we have our own way to indicate years while we also use global way like "2019". Additionally, this name of the era changes every time our emperor switches, which means it always happens when the previous emperor passes away.

 

However, it was very first and special this time. Our previous emperor announced that he wanted to abdicate as he is getting old for his post. This was extraordinary but we all know that he is such a lovely man so not many people actually opposed with that (well there were some, but it's normal right?).

 

So this May 1st, his son, the crown prince got enthroned. The ceremony drew much attention from all over the world and probably you might see it somewhere. Ladies in Imperial Family all wore elegant white dress and tiara. It was like a huge celebration or festival since my SNS was full of Reiwa topics, but obviously this was the exception. As I mentioned earlier, emperor normally switches when the previous one passes away. Therefore, if you see the atmosphere of the last enthronement ceremony, it actually looks like a funeral where everyone dresses in black and ladies even hid their face with black veil. I personally don't know which is right or proper way but it looked much happier this time.

 

I would like to introduce one episode to describe how the previous emperor did. He is apparently very friendly and thoughtful gentle man, knowing commoners life well. Also, it's worth nothing that the Empress Michiko is the first empress from ordinary family after Meiji era. You might remember we had terrible earthquake and tsunami in 2011. They visited the disaster-affected area where affected people were taking shelter. Both emperor and empress took of their shoes and just sat on the floor without slippers or cushions as everyone else did to listened to and encourage them. They also visited a place where many people got engulfed by tsunami. It was rainy but they told the attendants to leave them and prayed in the rain for a while, without umbrellas. I clearly remember this picture even now, after 8 years, and believe that many of the Japanese nation were deeply impressed with their attitude.

 

Until this April 30th, 2019 was called Heisei 31, which means he had been the emperor for 31 years. This is not extremely long compared to the previous eras but for me who aged with Heisei, I really feel he was a great emperor and hope he will enjoy the rest of his life peacefully and calmly.

 

Let's see what's happening in Reiwa. I wish it will be another great era.

Keiko Miki
Keiko Miki



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