Learn how to convert the Western calendar to Japanese Reiwa years


With this simple hack you’ll by no means be confused by the Japanese calendar ever once more!

There are a whole lot of variations between Japan and the Western world, and a kind of variations is the best way they discuss with years on the calendar.

Whereas the present 12 months is 2022, in accordance with the Western calendar, right here in Japan it’s often known as Reiwa 4. That is as a result of centuries-old custom of tying an period to the reigning monarch, and seeing as Emperor Emeritus Akihito stepped down from the throne and handed the function over to his eldest son, Emperor Naruhito 4 years in the past, a brand new period started, and it was formally named Reiwa.

This changeover introduced an finish to the 30-year lengthy Heisei period, and triggered a little bit of confusion for official paperwork like driver’s licenses made earlier than the Reiwa period, which had expiry dates nonetheless listed in Heisei years.

▼ Working example: our reporter P.Okay. Sanjun’s driver’s license, which is about to run out on 10 February in Heisei 35, regardless of Heisei 30 being the final 12 months of the Heisei period.

With some paperwork nonetheless going by Heisei, others by Reiwa, and others by the Gregorian calendar, changing dates can take a whole lot of effort and time in Japan. Even P.Okay. has to enter math meme mode each time he must work out his license renewal date, furrowing his forehead and putting his fingers on his temples as he murmurs “Heisei 35…Reiwa 5…2023” whereas math equations dance over his face.

This psychological pressure received our reporter pondering that there needed to be a better solution to convert the Gregorian calendar to Japanese years, and when he requested his Japanese readers about it, one among them got here up with an concept so nice he determined to share it with all of us.

The calculation system for changing the Christian period to Reiwa is…

▼ …so as to add the final two numbers of the Western 12 months!


Positive sufficient, this surprisingly easy methodology works — for this 12 months, two plus two is 4 (Reiwa 4), and for subsequent 12 months, two plus three is 5 (Reiwa 5). It does have its limitations, although, as a result of while you rise up to 2030, the calculation falls flat, as three plus zero is three, however the Reiwa 12 months for 2030 could be Reiwa 12.

▼ Nonetheless, that offers us a complete seven years, from now till 2029, to make use of the add-the-last-two-numbers methodology.

For these with higher math abilities than P.Okay., there’s a fail-proof methodology you should use all through the Reiwa period, and it includes subtracting 18 from the final two digits of the Gregorian calendar.

Utilizing that methodology, the 12 months 2030, 30 minus 18, will probably be Reiwa 12, and so forth, providing you with an correct methodology for changing Gregorian to Reiwa for the remainder of the period, nevertheless lengthy that may be. And if you happen to ever must convert Reiwa to the Gregorian calendar, all it’s a must to do is add 18, which provides you with the final two digits of the Gregorian calendar.

For somebody like P.Okay., although, who takes ages to make calculations, the single-digit calculation methodology is simply sufficient math for him to deal with, and it’ll serve him properly as his go-to methodology for the following seven years.

After that, he’ll should get used to including and subtracting double-digit numbers, however for now, he’s completely happy to dwell in “lovely concord” with a extra easy strategy, in true accordance with the that means and beliefs of Reiwa.

Photos © SoraNews24
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