The period of the reign of Hirohito, 124th emperor of Japan. It lasted from 1926 until 1989. In the Japanese calendar, this period is thus known as the "showa era". The word is written as 昭和 in kanji, meaning "shining peace", which is kinda ironic, considering that the era of militant nationalism that peaked in WWII fell into that era. Then again, the militarists probably read the wa in its second meaning, "Japan".

Anyway, the country saw dramatic changes during the showa era: a headlong plunge into fascism (though this development had started much earlier), disastrous defeat, occupation and americanization, and amazing recovery to the status of an economic superpower. Interesting times, one might say.

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

As two characters, it uses hexes 662D and 548C:


Japanese writings have a nasty tendency to cite dates in the imperial year system, and if you're not used to it it can be a real pain in the arse. So here's a translation table from Showa years to CE years:

Showa 1 = 1926
Showa 5 = 1930
Showa 10 = 1935
Showa 15 = 1940
Showa 20 = 1945
Showa 25 = 1950
Showa 30 = 1955
Showa 35 = 1960
Showa 40 = 1965
Showa 45 = 1970
Showa 50 = 1975
Showa 55 = 1980
Showa 60 = 1985
Showa 64 = 1989

< Taisho - Showa - Heisei >

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