Articles on Japan / Culture

I Am Old

…in Japan.

Well I’m starting to feel old everywhere, but I am especially old according to dates in Japan.

You see, Japan normally follows by the same yearly calendar we do, but they also follow a calendar that changes according to who the emperor is. When a new emperor comes into power, the name of the era changes, and we start back again at year one. From my experience, it seems to only really be used for Important Historic Events, sometimes the founding of companies, and birth dates.

So why does this mean that I am old in Japan? We-ellll, I am a Showa girl. I was born two months, two months, too early. And I pay the price for that.

Yuuki was already pretty shocked before we started dating, when he found out I was three years older than him. To the point where I almost thought he wouldn’t be interested in me anymore. The poor guy was mumbling my age to himself, while poor me was sitting there going…yes. I am that old (don’t even get me started on that double standard).

I’d like to say he got past it, but he never has…not when he found out I’m from the Showa period! Dun dun dunnnnnnn.

That’s the era his parents are from! He still laughs about it whenever it comes up. As if it’s funny (it’s not).

If you don’t know already, I’m sure by now you’re curious what era you are from in the Japanese calendar and if you too are a Showa oldie. Well take a look-see.


We’re still in Heisei, so if you were born after 2001, first get off my lawn, and then add the corresponding years to find your date.

Just to give you an example of the love crap I get from being a Showa girl, one time I told Yuuki I really missed Tokyo. That more than anything I just wanted to go to Shibuya and watch all the people filter in and out, going about their day. That more than anything, I wanted to meet Hachiko again!



Noble Hachiko, decorated for the new year.


Yuuki’s response? “It’s because you’re both from Showa, isn’t it.”

But you know what, fine. I will learn to embrace my Showa-ness. After all, us Showa-era people might be senile muffins:



Yes, I have been waiting for a reason to use this fantastic picture.


But at least we know how to use a toilet:



You won’t see this in a Showa bathroom.


Although I do regret that we don’t have an awesome kansai-ben infused anthem…

(I’m not sure, but I think this video may have overused the pun of 何 (nan) and naan, the bread.)


There’s plenty of Showas girls who are famous and could write something as fun, 私のために書いてくれ~


…But they’re probably just as embarrassed to admit it as I am.


5 thoughts on “I Am Old

  1. It also doesn’t help that the last Showa era was probably one of the longest in Japanese history. They used to blew through eras like Kleenex.

    • True! Life expectancies are getting longer with each generation, and Japan has one of, if not the, longest in the world.

      All that intrigue back in the day didn’t really help though, either.

  2. A little bit different, but this post reminded me of “Generation Tengoku” which ran on Fuji for many years (but finished this year, boooo) with famous people of different generations discussing things that were popular while they were growing up. Basically you had a bunch of 20 year olds (mango people), 30-40 year olds (kiwi) and 50-60 year olds (banana). A lot of it was really interesting in terms of recent Japanese history and trends etc, but most of it was pretty silly standard variety show stuff. I have no idea why they were sectioned into fruits, but at least you and your bf would be the fruit generation. XDDD Maybe worth bringing up next time? haha Link to the show:

    With regards from a fellow Showa-baachan. 😉

    • I hadn’t heard of that! It sounds pretty interesting, I will scour youtube for some clips!

      Haha that’s true! We’d both be mangos, the best kind of fruit! I’ll have to tell him next time we Skype. Thanks for the tips. 🙂

  3. Pingback: New blog, who dis | An Inkling

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