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Apr 10, 2019

“Reiwa” has been selected as the name of a new imperial era, which indicates that modern people buried in material world has entered into an era of connecting to the heaven again

image: pixabay [CC0]
“Reiwa” has been selected as the name of a new imperial era, which indicates that modern people buried in material world has entered into an era of connecting to the heaven again
Reportedly, the Foreign Ministry got upset about the name of a new imperial era translated as “order and peace” by foreign media and has made announcement that Reiwa means “beautiful harmony.” As the word “reijou”, well-bred young lady, shows, it is true that “rei” means “beautiful or fine” when used as an adjective.

*His Excellency Gel also says about such translation of the new era “Reiwa”: “I have a feeling of strangeness. We have to make efforts to explain the meaning of ‘Rei’.” As the Foreign Ministry got upset, he seemed to be concerned about “Rei” likely of being misinterpreted as order by foreign mass media. 

According to a dictionary, the structure of “Rei” means “a person kneels down and listens to divine will” and then “Rei” lead to a broader interpretation of “to order”. 

The emperor is originally a high priest and High Majesty the Emperor “has continued to take into consideration how people feel together with Empress Michiko and pray for peace and quiet of the country and the nation. Considering this fact, I suppose that ‘Rei’ means “to kneel down and listen to divine will.”

I imagine that the original role of the emperor as a high priest was to get divine will and convey it to the people. Since it is special psychic ability, royal family bloodline was respected.

“Reiwa” was selected as a new era name. I suppose that it means that modern people buried in material world has entered into an era of connecting to the heaven again.

The second article is a sequel to yesterday’s article, which is about the original source of “Reiwa.” Another web LITERA also covers this topic. I think that it is unusual for an imperial era to attract people’s attention. BUZZAP! says that considering the meaning “Reiwa” includes, the era name may be handed down from generation to generation. 

*Note:
LDP member Shigeru Ishiba is known as amilitary geek and called as His Excellency Gel.

April 3, 2019
Masatoshi Takeshita


Note:
Shanti-phula has indicated some parts of the following text in black bold-faced type or in red letters.

English translation of an excerpt from a Japanese article: Nikkan Gendai Digital – April 3, 2019 –

Misplaced anger of the Abe Prime Minister’s Office, whose messy handling causes “Reiwa to be translated as order and peace into English” 

(The image is replaced with Tweet by Shanti-phula)

“It symbolizes the Abe administration’s nationalism.”Overseas media reported like this concerning a new era name “Reiwa.” The Abe prime minister office gets angry about the report.
<snip>
According to New York Times digital dated April 1, Director of the Public Relations Office, the Prime Minister Office Tomoaki Ishigaki pointed out by mail that “Reiwa” is translated into <order and peace> but it is “not our intended meaning.”
<snip>
A foreign journalist who received a mail from the Prime Minister Office got indignant by saying “if they want to reveal a new era name to the world, they should attach official materials translated into English in advance.He is exactly right. The Prime Minister Office should have prepared for official English translation before complaining about the “English translation” by overseas media.
<snip>
Yesterday the Foreign Ministry announced in a hurry that “Reiwa” means “beautiful harmony” but it is too late now.
<snip>

English translation of an excerpt from a Japanese article: BUZZAP!– April 3, 2019  Report by Fukami

[Column] Bits of knowledge about the new era “Reiwa”  - The source dates back to classical Chinese literature

Reiwais said to be derivedfromthe Manyoushu of “Kokusho,” which means Japanese classics, for the first time.  <snip>   “The headnote attached to a group of 32 poemswas composed when Director-General of Dazaifu Otomono Tabito held a poetic gathering to view the plum blossoms and one theory holdsthat it is the work of Yamanoue no Okura.
<snip>
By the way, with regard to “the headnote attached to a group of 32 poems” in Manyoushu, the source is Return to the field”(帰田賦) by Zhang Heng, who was an official, inventor, mathematician, and astronomer of the Later Han Dynasty of China.  <snip> If you compare the incipit of “Return to the field” 「於是仲春令月 時和氣清 」with 「于時初春令月 氣淑風和」in the Manyoushu, it is obvious that the Chinese poem has an implication for the Japanese poem.

And it is also pointed out that this part is based on 「天朗氣清、惠風和暢」of “Lantingji Xu” by Wang Xizhi, who is also famous as calligrapher in the Eastern Jin Dynasty.
<snip>
Zhang Heng was a bureaucrat who served in the Later Han. Return to the field” is the poem depicting his later life in which as he disgusted the corrupt central politics where eunuchs enjoyed predominance, he returned to his hometown to engage in agriculture. Zhang Heng served Emperor An of Han” and his child “Emperor Shun of Han.”   The source was the poem depicting the poet who got sick of corrupt politics and retired to engage in agriculture. What an edgy poem it is!


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Kurage

Basically, I’m not interested at all in imperial era. I feel relived because the era name includes no characters related to the Abe clan.
The name is quoted from a poem by Yamanoue no Okura, with which he showed respect towards the poem by Zhang Heng who flipped out over the corrupt politics by Emperor An. I’d like to say “Well done!” to some scholar who fought anti-intellectual “An” emperor in modern Japan with powerful intellectualism.
Hokko Ringo

New era: Reiwa   The source of this name is “the headnote attached to a group of 32 poems” in the Manyoushu. However, as a matter of fact, there is another account which says that the behind-the-scenes source is a famous story in which corrupt bureaucrat Heshen who repeatedly did anything he liked as a minister was ordered to take his life after the collapse of Qianlong Emperor. If there had been selection committee members who secretly knew this story and recommended “Reiwa”, I’d like to say: “Well done.”

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