EnglishFrench

The Imperial Calendar

Japan uses two different calendars to count years, the western calendar and the Imperial Calendar. The western calendar is the most commonly used in everyday life, but the Imperial calendar is still used very often in administrative documents.

The Imperial Calendar groups years under eras, that are grouped under periods and sub-periods.
Changes in periods correspond mainly to changes or governments, as well as their places of establishment.

Eras correspond to the reign of each emperor, from the beginning of its reign until his death.
For the first time in the history of the imperial lineage, the Emperor Akihito will abdicate on April, 30th and will set the Heisei era to an end still living.

Summary chronology of the Japanese eras
DatesName in EnglishName in Japanese
Until 399Prehistory先史時代 SENSHIJIDAI
According to the Shinto religion, the lineage of the emperors starts in -600BC, with the legendary Emperor Jinmu, direct descendant of Amaterasu, goddess of the Sun.
400 - 1198Antiquity古代 KODAI
400 - 707Yamato Period大和時代 YAMATO JIDAI
707 - 781Nara Period奈良時代 NARA JIDAI
781 - 1198Heian Period平安時代 HEIAN JIDAI
1198 - 1611feodal Period (Middle age)中世 CHŪSEI
1185 - 1333Kamakura Period鎌倉時代 KAMAKURA JIDAI
1333 - 1573Muromachi Period室町時代 MUROMACHI JIDAI
1573 - 1603Azuchi Momoyama Period安土桃山時代 AZUCHI MOMOYAMA JIDAI
1611 - 1867Premodern Period近世 KINSEI
1603 - 1867Edo Period江戸時代 JIDAI
1868 - NowModern Period - Contemporary Period近代・現代 KINDAI - GENDAI
1868 - 1912Meiji Era明治時代 MEIJI JIDAI
1912 - 1926Taishō Era大正時代 TAISHŌ JIDAI
1926 - 1989Shōwa Era昭和時代 SHŌWA JIDAI
1989 - 2019Heisei Era平成時代 HEISEI JIDAI
2019 - NowReiwa Era令和時代 REIWA JIDAI
Correspondence between western calendar and the imperial calendar
Western yearEraYear in the eraAge
1868Meiji1151
1869Meiji2150
1870Meiji3149
1871Meiji4148
1872Meiji5147
1873Meiji6146
1874Meiji7145
1875Meiji8144
1876Meiji9143
1877Meiji10142
1878Meiji11141
1879Meiji12140
1880Meiji13139
1881Meiji14138
1882Meiji15137
1883Meiji16136
1884Meiji17135
1885Meiji18134
1886Meiji19133
1887Meiji20132
1888Meiji21131
1889Meiji22130
1890Meiji23129
1891Meiji24128
1892Meiji25127
1893Meiji26126
1894Meiji27125
1895Meiji28124
1896Meiji29123
1897Meiji30122
1898Meiji31121
1899Meiji32120
1900Meiji33119
1901Meiji34118
1902Meiji35117
1903Meiji36116
1904Meiji37115
1905Meiji38114
1906Meiji39113
1907Meiji40112
1908Meiji41111
1909Meiji42110
1910Meiji43109
1911Meiji44108
1912Taishō1107
1913Taishō2106
1914Taishō3105
1915Taishō4104
1916Taishō5103
1917Taishō6102
1918Taishō7101
1919Taishō8100
1920Taishō999
1921Taishō1098
1922Taishō1197
1923Taishō1296
1924Taishō1395
1925Taishō1494
1926Shōwa193
1927Shōwa292
1928Shōwa391
1929Shōwa490
1930Shōwa589
1931Shōwa688
1932Shōwa787
1933Shōwa886
1934Shōwa985
1935Shōwa1084
1936Shōwa1183
1937Shōwa1282
1938Shōwa1381
1939Shōwa1480
1940Shōwa1579
1941Shōwa1678
1942Shōwa1777
1943Shōwa1876
1944Shōwa1975
1945Shōwa2074
1946Shōwa2173
1947Shōwa2272
1948Shōwa2371
1949Shōwa2470
1950Shōwa2569
1951Shōwa2668
1952Shōwa2767
1953Shōwa2866
1954Shōwa2965
1955Shōwa3064
1956Shōwa3163
1957Shōwa3262
1958Shōwa3361
1959Shōwa3460
1960Shōwa3559
1961Shōwa3658
1962Shōwa3757
1963Shōwa3856
1964Shōwa3955
1965Shōwa4054
1966Shōwa4153
1967Shōwa4252
1968Shōwa4351
1969Shōwa4450
1970Shōwa4549
1971Shōwa4648
1972Shōwa4747
1973Shōwa4846
1974Shōwa4945
1975Shōwa5044
1976Shōwa5143
1977Shōwa5242
1978Shōwa5341
1979Shōwa5440
1980Shōwa5539
1981Shōwa5638
1982Shōwa5737
1983Shōwa5836
1984Shōwa5935
1985Shōwa6034
1986Shōwa6133
1987Shōwa6232
1988Shōwa6331
1989Heisei130
1990Heisei229
1991Heisei328
1992Heisei427
1993Heisei526
1994Heisei625
1995Heisei724
1996Heisei823
1997Heisei922
1998Heisei1021
1999Heisei1120
2000Heisei1219
2001Heisei1318
2002Heisei1417
2003Heisei1516
2004Heisei1615
2005Heisei1714
2006Heisei1813
2007Heisei1912
2008Heisei2011
2009Heisei2110
2010Heisei229
2011Heisei238
2012Heisei247
2013Heisei256
2014Heisei265
2015Heisei274
2016Heisei283
2017Heisei292
2018Heisei301
2019Heisei310
2019Reiwa310
Change of era

As new reigns usually don't start on January, 1st, it is common that the first year of an era is the last year of the preceding era.

YearEnd of eraBeginning of era
191245th year of Meiji era until July, 29th1st year of Taishō era from July, 30th
192615th year of Taishō era until December, 24th1st year of Shōwa era from December, 25th
198964th year of Shōwa era until January, 7th1st year of Heisei era from January, 8th
201931th year of Heisei era until April, 29th1st year of Reiwa era from Avril, 30th
Notation
  • As in most cases in Asian countries, dates are always written in the order Year - Month - Day.

Most common long format: 2019年11月17日

Most common short format: 2019.11.17

  • Names of eras are usually composed of 2kanji.

Long format with era name: 平成31年11月17日

Short format with era name: H31.11.17

For the most recent eras, Unicode characters have been created: Meiji, Taishō, Shōwa, Heisei. A character has also been reserved for the Reiwa era.
However, they are not often used. The first letter of the era name are more commonly used instead (M, T, S, H, R).

  • Week days are often abbreviated to the first character: 月, 火, 水, 木, 金, 土, 日

Long format with week day: 2019年11月17日(日)

Short format with week day: 2019.11.17(日)

National holidays

National holidays that fall on a Sunday are followed by a "compensation" day.

2019

DatesName in EnglishName in Japanese
01 JanuaryGANJITSUNew year's Day
14 JanuarySEIJIN NO HIMajority Day
11 FebruaryKENKOKU KINENBINational Foundation Day
21 MarchSHUNBUN NO HIVernal Equinox Day
22 MarchKYÛJITSUCompensation day
29 AprilSHÔWA NO HIBirthday of Emperor Hirohito
30 AprilKYÛJITSUCompensation day
01 MaySHINTENNÔ SOKUIEnthronment of the Emperor
03 MayKEMPÔ KINENBIConstitution Memorial Day
04 MayMIDORI NO HIGreenery Day
05 MayKODOMO NO HIChildren's Day
06 MayKYÛJITSUCompensation day
15 JulyUMI NO HIMarine Day
16 SeptemberKEIRÔ NO HIRespect for the Aged Day
22 SeptemberSHÛBUN NO HIAutumnal Equinox Day
23 SeptemberKYÛJITSUCompensation day
14 OctoberTAIIKU NO HIHealth and Sports Day
22 OctoberSOKUI REISEIDEN NO GICeremony of the enthronment of the Emperor
03 NovemberBUNKA NO HICulture Day
04 NovemberKYÛJITSUCompensation day
23 NovemberKINRÔ KANSHA NO HILabor Thanksgiving Day
24 NovemberKYÛJITSUCompensation day

2020

DatesName in EnglishName in Japanese
01 JanuaryGANJITSUNew year's Day
13 JanuarySEIJIN NO HIMajority Day
11 FebruaryKENKOKU KINENBINational Foundation Day
23 FebruaryTENNÔ TANJÔBIBirthday of the Emperor
24 FebruaryKYÛJITSUCompensation day
20 MarchSHUNBUN NO HIVernal Equinox Day
21 MarchKYÛJITSUCompensation day
29 AprilSHÔWA NO HIBirthday of Emperor Hirohito
30 AprilKYÛJITSUCompensation day
03 MayKEMPÔ KINENBIConstitution Memorial Day
04 MayMIDORI NO HIGreenery Day
05 MayKODOMO NO HIChildren's Day
06 MayKYÛJITSUCompensation day
20 JulyUMI NO HIMarine Day
21 SeptemberKEIRÔ NO HIRespect for the Aged Day
22 SeptemberSHÛBUN NO HIAutumnal Equinox Day
23 SeptemberKYÛJITSUCompensation day
12 OctoberTAIIKU NO HIHealth and Sports Day
03 NovemberBUNKA NO HICulture Day
04 NovemberKYÛJITSUCompensation day
23 NovemberKINRÔ KANSHA NO HILabor Thanksgiving Day
24 NovemberKYÛJITSUCompensation day

Vocabulary
Western calendar西暦 (せいれき) SEIREKI
Imperial calendar神武天皇即位紀元 (じんむ てんのう そくい きげん) JINMU TENNŌ SOKUI KIGEN
  • Complete name, lit. "Calendar following the enthronement of the Emperor Jinmu"..
  • 皇紀 (こうき) KŌKI
  • Abbreviated name.
  • Era年号 (ねんごう) NENGŌ
  • In the common language.
  • 元号 (げんごう) GENGŌ
  • More technical term.
  • Period時代 (じだい) JIDAI
    Change of era改元 (かいげん) KAIGEN
    1st year of an era元年 (がんねん) GANNEN
  • The first year is generally written in kanji rather that with the figure 1.
  • National holiday祝日 (しゅくじつ) SHUKUJITSU
    Holiday休日 (きゅうじつ) KYŪJITSU
  • Non-working day.
  • This website uses cookies in order to enhance the user's experience.
    By continuing to visit this website, you explicitly agree with the use of theses cookies.
    Kazoku Ecrire le japonais
    Kazoku
    Ecrire le japonais
    Kazoku Ecrire le japonais