Japanese New Year, 2010

Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu! Happy New Year!

I experienced my first New Year in Japan last night and today.  It is now Heisei 22 according to the Japanese traditional empirical date system, and 2010 by the widely recognized international date system.  This difference in dates is massively confusing, since the emperor is mortal and eventually passes away and another emperor takes his place, and the year gets reset.  In order to make sense of this, or try to, businesses and government organizations have date charts to match a year in the Japanese system with the year in the international/western system.  Pretty much all official Japanese business is recorded in the Japanese system, whereas in popular media everything is written in the international one.

So… as Jonathon Coulton said, “It’s gonna be the future soon.”  The world’s changing faster and faster every year, see Moore’s Law.  The marine ecology of Earth is changing wildly because of overfishing, the ice caps are melting, we’re starting to get near the point of continuously increasing fuel prices, and technology… well They’re building an elevator into space.  You ready for this?

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