The Japanese press has released the name for the new Emperor's era when Crown Prince Naruhito becomes emperor on 1st May.

The new era name is Reiwa.

Although the use of the emperor's year has been phased out as an element in patent publication numbers, it is still in use for recording some dates on Japanese front page data.

The convention up to now has been to add an initial letter derived from the era name before the number of the emperor's year e.g. S60 for Showa 60 or H15 for Heisei 15.

Fortunately, no era names since the Meiji patent act have had the same initial letter R, so database producers will be able to continue the pattern :

M Meiji

T Taisho

S Showa

H Heisei

R Reiwa

Happy searching!

Stephen Adams

Magister Ltd.

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  1. Interesting, politically at least, that they chose the name from Japanese poetry rather than traditional Chinese literature, as had been the custom.

  2. Given the era of the poetry, it was basically Chinese poetry written on Japanese soil. It matters to the nationalists.