Tag Archives: 1959

20 Years Ago

7 Jan

From December 1926 until January 7, 1989, the 昭和天皇 (Showa Emperor), (also called Emperor Hirohito in Western countries…but in Japan, that’s never done) was the reigning Emperor.

Those years are called the 昭和時代 (Showa Era) and lasted just over 63 years. January 1-6, 1989 are the year 昭和64年 (Showa 64).

On January 7, 1989, the 昭和天皇 (Showa Emperor) died and his eldest son became the current 平成天皇 (Heisei Emperor).

January 7, 1989 began the 平成時代 (Heisei Era). So, even though the 今上天皇 (current Emperor) began his reign twenty years ago today…this year, 2009, is 平成21年 (Heisei 21) because 1989 was 平成1年 (Heisei 1).

Also, April 10 will be the 50th wedding anniversary of the 今上天皇 (current Emperor) and the 皇后 (Empress). So, this year (2009) is a big year for the 今上天皇 (current Emperor)…twenty years as Emperor and fifty years married.

So, in honor of his 20th anniversary as Emperor and his 50th wedding anniversary this year, November 12th will be a legal holiday in Japan…this year only.

Why November 12th if today (January 7) is the anniversary of his father’s death and the day he became the 今上天皇 (current Emperor) and his wedding anniversary is on April 10?

November 12, 2009 will be the date of the one-time-only holiday because the coronation of the 今上天皇 (current Emperor) took place on November 12, 1990.

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