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The name of Japan’s new Imperial era ‘Reiwa’ was announced on April 1. It is derived from ‘Manyoshu’, and is also related to Dazaifu in Kyushu in the 8th century.

投稿日:2019年4月9日 更新日:

At an extraordinary Cabinet meeting which was held on April 1, ‘Reiwa’ was decided as the name of Japan’s new Imperial era. I attended this meeting as a member of the Cabinet, and was extremely happy to be part of such a historic moment. This new era name is derived from a forward to the chapter titled ‘Ume-No-Hana-No-Uta’ (‘poems on plum blossoms’) in Vol. 5 of ‘Manyoshu’, the oldest existing anthology of Japanese poetry which is said to be compiled about 1,200 years ago. This forward was written by the then Governor-General of Dazaifu in Kyushu, Otomo no Tabito, also a poet, when he hosted a plum-blossom party at his residence in 730. Since I am from Fukuoka Prefecture where Dazaifu city is located, I keenly felt a fate of my life.

I have been extremely busy all day today having press conference etc. After my busyness settles down, I will have time to recall to my mind Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga’s announcement and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s speech on the new era’s name. I am deeply grateful for the new era name ‘Reiwa’.

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