A couple of days ago, the new emperor era name has been published by the government. Our prince would take over the seat of emperor on May 1 this year when the present emperor retires. A law stipulates the era name should be changed at such an occasion.
I am not much concerned about such a thing myself. The concept of era name proper to each emperor comes from the idea that an emperor should rule even our time with it. Strictly speaking, it is against the idea of democracy that tells us we, the people, are the ruler in the society. I won't deny what the era name means in our culture based on the history. Anyway, I am not a fanatic believer in the emperor system wherever it might be.
The new era name is Reiwa, which means "order or command" for Rei and "peace" for Wa. Our PM has announced about its meaning originated from the old 8th century anothology of poetry in our country named "Manyohshyu". He says, under this new era name, we should be united in this beautiful country blessed with four seasons. From his standpoint of ultra right wing, he wanted to choose it from such old Japanese literature away from the tradition that the era names have been chosen from the old Chinese literature in the past. At least, such a politician with much corruption and extremism in ultra right position should never tell us to be united in this beautiful country.
Some scholars in those old literatures, however, advocate that this Reiwa has been originated from an old Chinese literature in Later Han Dynasty. The poem in Manyohshyu is an homage for this old poem as they say. The relevant poem in the Chinese literature has made by a poet who had been tired of the reign by an emepror named An in the dynasty. The emperor An was not an excllent leader who had brought the dynasty into decline. Actually, the dynasty has been ended as soon as the emperor died. "An" is a part of the name of our PM.
Thus, this new era name could be metaphored by the inventor. I don't know if it was intended or not. If it was plotted by its author, it is intellectually of much interest and strongly against our PM who has tried to utilize this chance of naming the era as a political show.
Unfortunately, our mass media won't question about the era naming or the intention of the government with regard to this event. Most of the people are getting excited at ths event without any doubt.