Nature & Culture of Japan

To make your trip to Japan more interesting

History Insects

An insect specimen collected in 26th Century?

Looking at ancient insect specimens, I saw a label collected in the 26th century. This is a calendar year unique to Japan. The current emperor is the 126th generation, and the year when the first emperor came to the throne (660 BC) is the first year. However, this has not been historically confirmed.

This dragonfly shell specimen was collected in 2595= 1935 AD.

When Japan was isolated from the world in the first half of the 20th century, some Japanese people felt a strong nationalism and were willing to use this calendar. On the other hand, despite this era, other people still use the western Christian era. It is interesting to glimpse the political thoughts of entomologists at that time.

No one uses it in modern Japan. The calendar of the current emperor is usually used to match the Christian era. The government insists to give priority to the current emperor calendar year. The year 2021 when this article is written is the 3rd year of Reiwa.

I personally want to cherish Japanese tradition and pride, but the emperor is often confused by turns.


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