What freak’n year is it?

I realise that it’s already August, and I have no difficulty remembering which month it is, and I have the ability to recall what part of the month we are currently in. But, ask me which year it is, and I find myself totally confused. Especially since in Japan there’s another way of counting the years. For most nations the gregorian calendar is used, as it is also used in Japan. But “Common era” year numbers are not always used in Japan. The Japanese year numbers are dated according to what reigning emperor decides to name it.

The current emperor, Emperor Akihito named his reigning era as Heisei (平成) which holds the meaning of “peace everywhere”. As Emperor Akihito took the throne in 1989, 2007 is known as Heisei 19. Now that’s where the confusion begins for me. As I translate and work on many documentation, I’m updating past Heissi 17 & 18 documents but also working on Heisei 19 and preparing Heisei 20 documents, as the budget for the next fiscal year must be prepared the year before. To make mattters worse… well, for me that is. The fiscal year here, also employment year here in Japan (for most jobs, you start working in April, and the end of the financial/fiscal year is March) doesn’t exactly conform with the actual year.

So the Heisei 19 fiscal year actually runs from April 1st, 2007 to March 31, 2008… or as they say here, the 19th year of the Heisei era, 4th month, 1st day to the 20th year of the Heisei era, 3rd month, 31st day. Argh! And as I travel, each country also has their own unique way of using the date format. In the US the date format mm/dd/yy is used, same as in Canada, but the official ISO 8601 yyyy-mm-dd is used for official documents. Which is what Japan used. But when using the Japanese era year, it’s actually yy-mm-dd… not yyyy blah blah blah. Heck, I recall much of Europe using the dd-mm-yyyy date format.

Anyways… when you’re checking out the expiry date of products in Japan, they can be in either in western year or Japanese era year format. Which can simply be annoying. 07-08-03 or 19-08-03 both mean the same… Can you see why I’m getting confused? Heck, maybe I’m just losing it.

May be I’m just getting old and also getting forgetful along with my age. May be I’m just getting old and also getting forgetful along with my age. May be I’m just getting forgetful of what I wrote along with my age. 🙂