The Japanese Calendar

The Julian and Gregorian Calendars are used throughout the world. However, there is the Japanese Calendar which is sometimes used in Japan, which is related to the Japanese Emperors.

In many Japanese traditional and formal documents, you are often asked to fill out your birth date according to the Japanese Calendar. You could ask somebody to fill this part, but it may look more educated and encultured if you know your birthday on the Japanese Calendar.

Most Japanese even won’t be able to translate random Gregorian calendar years to the Japanese ones. Nevertheless, at least we know our birth years in the Japanese calendar as we grow up using it every now and again. So why don’t you learn yours?

Below are the corresponding Japanese calendar years for you to find out what yours will be:

“Showa” years (often abbreviated as “S”)

  • 1926 = S1 (From December 25th, 1926)
  • 1927 = S2
  • etc.
  • 1989 = S64

“Heisei” years (often abbreviated as “H”)

  • 1989 = H1
  • 1990 = H2
  • etc.
  • 2017 = H27

You may have noticed that 1989 is both Show 64 and Heisei 1. This is because during the year the name changed from “Showa” to “Heisei”. Precisely, it changed to Heisei on January 8th, 1989. This means that only the first 7 days of 1989 up to January 7th will be “Showa”, and all the rest will be “Heisei”.

Were you able to figure out yours? It is also helpful to know the current year as well. By the way, 2017 is “Heisei 29” (or “H29”).

Your comments and questions are always welcome.
– C2Gi Immersion Center


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