I was planning to go camping at Anini Beach yesterday but I realized that I had a service to attend. In addition, it was raining. I had to cancel the fun day, though I felt sorry for my kids, .
This, however, meant I happened to have unexpected free time. I was able to make two youtube videos and I have just uploaded “Heisei Ondo” which is one of my favorite Bon Dance songs.
“Heisei” which literally means “to achieve peace” is one of the Japanese eras, called “Gengo.” Nowadays, as far as I know, all countries use Gregorian calendar but in Japan, “Gengo” is officially used for documents. For example, the year 2013 is "Heisei the 25th" officially in Japan. This means 25 years have passed since the new era of Heisei started.
To put it simple, “Gengo” indicates the era of the Emperor. For example,
Meiji Era started in January 25, 1868 when Emperor Meiji started taking over Edo government. It ended in July 30, 1912 when he passed away.
Taisho Era was from January 25, 1912 to December 25, 1926 when Emperor Taishop passed away.
Showa Era was from December 25, 1926 to January 7, 1989 when Emperor Showa passed away.
And Heisei era started in January 7, 1989 and this song, Heisei Ondo is singing all about the beginning of new ear and hoping bright and peaceful future.
As the lyrics says, “through the age of Meiji, Taisho and Showa eras, we knew how grateful to live in a peaceful world.
It is my sincere hope, too, that Bon Dance can contribute world peace for generations to come.
Last but not least, I want to thank Rev. Maya Hara who kindly revised my rough translation of Heisei Ondo so quickly!