Japanese year

When people fill out a form, they usually write down 19XX at date of birth.
In Japan we have our particular way to call a year.
Years are devided by length of each emperor's enthronement.
For example this year 2009 is expressed as Heisei 21.
This means it's the 21st year since the current emperor was enthroned.
Heisei is the name of an era.
When the previous emperor passes away, the goverment picks up a new name for upcoming era.

1868 - Meiji
1912 - Taishou
1926 - Showa
1989 - Heisei

On our diver's license, date of birth is printed with Japanese year.
So when we have to show it for age certification in abroad, we have to explain our system of year.
Japanese year is part of our culture, but the government should take international situation into consideration.

Heisei japanmylove-blog.blogspot.com

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