Name of Japan’s Newest Era Confirmed

Recently a conference was held in Japan by the Japanese government to announce the new era for the country. The new era is tentatively known as the Reiwa Era,” which translates to Harmonic Peace. The name is derived from the Manyoshu, a collection of historic Japanese poems. Now, Reiwa Era will effective begin on May 1st under Japan’s new emperor, Emperor Naruhito. For those who are not familiar with Japanese history, era names were first conceived by Emperor Kōtoku in 645. The first era in Japan was known as the Taika era, which lasted until 650 when it was renamed as the Hakuchi era. Longtime fans of the Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, and various other tokusatsu related productions should be more familiar with the Showa era, as well as the following era, the Heisei era. The Showa era started in 1926 and lasted until 1989 upon the death of Emperor Hirohito; he was then succeeded by his son, Emperor Akihito who chose Heisei for his reign, which spanned from 1989 to the present.


The first series in the Kamen Rider franchise premiered within the Showa era and the final series to be produced in that period was Kamen Rider Black RX. Yet, many fans in both Japan and overseas regard Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue, Kamen Rider ZO, and Kamen Rider J as a part of the Showa era due to Shotaro Ishinomori passing away in January 1998. However, the actual final “series” to be produced within the period was Kamen Rider Black RX. In addition, the first Super Sentai series titled, “Himitsu Sentai Gorenger,” aired in Showa 50 (1975) and the final series that was produced during the period was Choujuu Sentai Liveman. In similar fashion to Kamen Rider, many fans in both Japan and International based countries regard the final series within the Showa era as Chōjin Sentai Jetman, but chronologically the final series was Choujuu Sentai Liveman. 


Many fans today should be more familiar with the Heisei era since it consists of many modern tokusatsu related productions. With the first seven episodes of Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger, and the first half of Kamen Rider Zi-O airing before the change in eras this will mark them as the final series to be produced under the Heisei Era.


Source: NHK World Japan


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