Generation who?

Sassa Narimasa the Japanese warlord of the Sen...
Sassa Narimasa the Japanese warlord of the Sengoku through Azuchi-Momoyama period

What generation do you consider yourself from?

Post “Baby-boomer”, it seems like everyone has their own set of dates that determine whether they’re really Generation X, Y, Z or Millennial. Others have based this on pop culture values or trends from their childhood. For me, who knows? I think I’m “X” although I’ve been told “Y”. Why? Couldn’t tell ya’.

So as some of us continue to ponder whether or not we’re part of Generation X, Y,or Z in America (yes, it is an American thing) I have learned that the Japanese don’t name their generations or eras like us. Why would they, they’re Japanese?

For example, we are all living in the Heisei period (1989-Present) but my wife, myself, her parents and her grandparents were all born in the Showa period (1926-1989). When your watching Samurai movies dated in “Feudal Japan” most likely it’s a story that takes place between the Kamakura period and Azuchi-Momoyama period (1185 – 1603). Immediately after were the Edo (1603 – 1868) and Meiji periods (1868 – 1912).

  • The Kamakura period was named as such because the city was the center of power for the Kamakura shogunate.
  • The Azuchi-Momoyama periods are named for the castle Azuchi and the castle Momoyama that were both considered to be very powerful.
  • Edo, the new capital city back then, is the former name of Tokyo while Meiji was the name of the Emperor who brought about changes that evolved into what we consider modern Japan.
  • Heisei means, “Achieving Peace” or “Peace and Accomplishment”.

So with this kind of rationale, could Presidencies be considered as eras? We live in the Obama Period which was preceded by the Bush Period? Never mind, that doesn’t sound pleasant at all.

So fellow Heisei-ers, what generation are you?

Old Samurai
Edo Period Samurai (c.1860)

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Author: hikikomori78

American Hikikomori is an upcoming short film that explores the emotional struggles of a Japanese teenager named Isamu Fujihara, when he moves to America.

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