Ending the Heisei Era with a bang

Photo credit to: https://www.timesofisrael.com

The 30th of April 2019 marks the last day for the Heisei Era of Emperor Akihito which began on the 8th of January 1989, more than thirty years ago. According to news reports, Emperor Akihito and the Heisei Era will be succeeded by the Reiwa period of the Crown Prince Naruhito.

 

As Japan bids farewell to the Heisei era and welcomes in the Reiwa period, local businesses are bustling with the preparation of souvenirs, memorabilia, and other goods or services that can serve as a remembrance to this rare event. Due to the 10-day Golden Week holiday, local entrepreneurs are expecting a great surge of customers who will be looking out for unique souvenirs or other services that either commemorate the outgoing Heisei era or celebrate the incoming Reiwa period. These range from “last of Heisei” tours, calendars, stamps, bean buns, T-shirts, and candies.

 

Wedding shops are also experiencing a positive boost in their business as many couples have scheduled their wedding this year. Masayuki Katsuta, marketing manager of LEC wedding salon reportedly said that, “Compared with the year before, this January, February, and March we’ve had a 10% surge in visits.” Stamp businesses are likewise doing well in this transition period. Kippodo, a stamp company, reportedly receives around 500 daily orders for labelling stamps since the beginning of April when the name for the incoming era was announced. Brewering companies and department stores are also storing up on their inventory in anticipation for the long holiday celebration ahead.

 


One unique product being sold is a can containing the air of the outgoing Heisei era. Producers aim to sell at least 1,000 units of these cans filled with the “air of Heisei” under the 30 year rule of Emperor Akihito. Heso Production Co. President Minoru Inamoto said that “Air is free of charge but we hope people will enjoy breathing the fresh air of Heisei after the new era comes, or just keep it as a memento.” These cans apparently contain air collected during the Heisei era and a five-yen coin which is traditionally considered as a charm for luck.

 

Reference:

Celebration of Japan’s new Reiwa Era presents a golden opportunity for business

New ‘air-a’: Canny Japanese firm sells tins of Heisei air

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