Heisei period

The Heisei period (Japanese: 平成時代, Hepburn: Heisei jidai) is the current era in Japan. The Heisei period started on 8 January 1989, the day after the death of the Emperor Hirohito, when his son, Akihito, acceded to the throne as the 125th Emperor. In accordance with Japanese customs, Hirohito was posthumously renamed "Emperor Shōwa" on 31 January 1989. Thus, 1989 corresponds to Shōwa 64 until 7 January, and Heisei 1 (平成元年, Heisei gannen, gannen means "first year") from 8 January. The Heisei period will likely end on 30 April 2019 (Heisei 31), the date on which Emperor Akihito is expected to abdicate the Chrysanthemum Throne.[1]

History and meaning

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko with family (2013)

On 7 January 1989, at 07:55 AM JST, the Grand Steward of Japan's Imperial Household Agency, Shōichi Fujimori, announced Emperor Hirohito's death at 6:33 AM JST, and revealed details about his cancer for the first time. Shortly after the death of the Emperor, Keizō Obuchi, then Chief Cabinet Secretary and later Prime Minister of Japan, announced the end of the Shōwa era, and heralded the new era name "Heisei" for the new Emperor, and explained its meaning.

According to Obuchi, the name "Heisei" was taken from two Chinese history and philosophy books, namely Records of the Grand Historian (史記 Shǐjì) and the Book of Documents (書経 Shūjīng). In the Shǐjì, the sentence "内平外成" (nèi píng wài chéng; Kanbun: 内平かに外成る Uchi tairaka ni soto naru) appears in a section honoring the wise rule of the legendary Chinese Emperor Shun. In the Shūjīng, the sentence "地平天成" (dì píng tiān chéng; Kanbun: 地平かに天成る Chi tairaka ni ten naru, "peace on the heaven and earth") appears. By combining both meanings, Heisei is intended to mean "peace everywhere". The Heisei era went into effect immediately upon the day after Emperor Akihito's succession to the throne on 7 January 1989.

In August 2016, Emperor Akihito gave a televised address to the nation, in which he expressed concern that his age would one day stop him from fulfilling his official duties. This was an implication of his wish to retire.[1] The Japanese Diet passed a law in June 2017 to allow the throne to pass to Akihito's son, Naruhito.[1] After meeting with members of the Imperial House Council, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe announced that 30 April 2019 would be the date set for Akihito's abdication.[1] The Era of Naruhito's reign will begin the next day.[2]

Other Languages
العربية: فترة هيسي
Bân-lâm-gú: Pêng-sêng
čeština: Období Heisei
Deutsch: Heisei-Zeit
español: Era Heisei
Esperanto: Hejsej
français: Ère Heisei
hrvatski: Heisei
Bahasa Indonesia: Heisei
italiano: Periodo Heisei
magyar: Heiszei-kor
Nederlands: Heiseiperiode
日本語: 平成
occitan: Heisei
polski: Heisei
português: Período Heisei
русский: Хэйсэй
Simple English: Heisei period
slovenčina: Obdobie Heisei
slovenščina: Heisei
Basa Sunda: Heisei
svenska: Heisei
Türkçe: Heisei dönemi
українська: Хейсей
Tiếng Việt: Thời kỳ Bình Thành
文言: 平成
粵語: 平成
中文: 平成