Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

Japanese & Western Calendars

What year were you born? (ex. 1973)

Today, in Japan there are two systems of counting the years. The traditional Japanese years are based on the emperor. When a new emperor takes the role, a new era or period begins in Japan: The current Emperor has reigned for 24 years. He called his era "Heisei." So, (2013) is Heisei 25.

Up until the present:


Some of this information is taken from Japan Guide by Open Road Publishing, p. 71 (Click for information) The rest was supplied by my vivid imagination - Just kidding...
縄文 Jomon Period: ??? - 300 BC
弥生 Yayoi Period: 300 BC - 300 AD
古墳 Kofun Period: 300 AD -593
飛鳥 Asuka Period: 593 - 710
奈良 Nara Period: 710 - 794
平安 Heian Period: 794 - 1185
鎌倉 Kamakura Period: 1185 - 1333
室町 Muromachi Period: 1333 - 1573
桃山 Momoyama Period: 1573 - 1603
江戸 Edo Period: 1603 - 1868
明治 Meiji Period: 1868 - 1912
大正 Taisho Period: 1912 - 1926
昭和 Showa Period: 1926 - 1989
平成 Heisei Period: 1989 - present

The below shows a chart comparing Japanese and Western recent years.
Do you know your birthday by the Japanese calendar?

The Heisei era started in 1989 and before that was the Showa era. I was born in 1973 so my birth year is showa 48!

WESTERN YEAR JAPANESE YEAR
2007 平成 heisei 19
2006 18
2005 17
2004 16
2003 15

2002

14
2001 13
2000 12
1999 11
1998 10
1997 9
1996 8
1995 7
1994 6
1993 5
1992 4
1991 3
1990 2
1989 昭和 showa 64 / 平成 heisei 1
1988 昭和 showa 63
1987 62
1986 61
1985 60
1980 55
1975 50
1970 昭和 showa 45
1960 昭和 showa 35
1950 昭和 showa 25
1940 昭和 showa 15
1930 昭和 showa 5

1920

大正 taisho 8