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The current Japanese calendar. The current emperor Akihito declared the Heisei era after his father's death in 1989, ending the Showa era. Thus, western 1989 became Heisei 1, western 2000 was Heisei 12.
"Heisei" is written with two kanji that mean "peace" and "to become", so a liberal translation could be "may there be peace".

Heisei is also the name of a Japanese OpenType font developed by a group of fontniks called the Japanese Standards Association. Adobe markets nine variants of the Heisei typeface, in gothic (sans serif), kaku gothic (rounded sans serif), and mincho (serif, sort of) styles.

Many people assume that Heisei is the alternate name of Emperor Akihito, since Emperor Hirohito is often known as Emperor Showa, and Yoshihito and Mutsuhito are almost always called Taisho and Meiji. However, the era names were only given to these emperors upon their deaths, so until Naruhito rises to the Imperial throne, you can't call Akihito "Heisei."

The name "Heisei" appears as a single character block in Unicode at hex 337B. It looks like this:

While this character appears in Microsoft's Japanese fonts, gn0sis reports that it may not show up in Linux (although avalyn can see it with no problems using the default Japanese font installation). In that case, you'll still be able to use the two-character form, 5E73 6210:


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