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Bunka (文化 ?) was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō, ?, lit. "year name") after Kyōwa and before Bunsei. The period spanned the years from 1804 to 1818. The reigning emperors were Kōkaku-tennō (光格天皇 ?) and Ninkō-Tennō (仁孝天皇 ?).


Change of era

  • Bunka gannen (文化元年 ?); (February 11, 1804): The new era name of Bunka ( meaning "Culture" or "Civilization") was created to mark the start of a new 60-year cycle of the Heavenly Stem and Earthly Branch system of the Chinese Calendar which was on New Year's Day, the new moon day of 2/11/1804. The previous era ended and a new one commenced in Kyōwa 4.

Events of the Bunka era

  • Bunka 1 (1804): Daigaku-no kami Hayashi Jussai (1768-1841) explained the shogunate foreign policy to Emperor Kōkaku in Kyoto.[1]
  • Bunka 2 (June 1805): Genpaku Sugita (1733-1817) is granted an audience with Shogun Ienari to explain differences between traditional medical knowledge and Western medical knowledge.[2]
  • Bunka 7 (September 25, 1810): Earthquake in northern Honshū (Latitude: 39.900/Longitude: 139.900), 6.6 magnitude on the Richter Scale.[3]...Click link for NOAA/Japan: Significant Earthquake Database
  • Bunka 9 (December 7, 1812): Earthquake in Honshū (Latitude: 35.400/Longitude: 139.600), 6.6 magnitude on the Richter Scale.[3]
  • Bunka 14 (1817): Emperor Kokaku travelled in procession to Sento Imperial Palace, a palace of an abdicated emperor. The Sento Palace at that time was called Sakura Machi Palace. It had been built by the Tokugawa Shogunate for former-Emperor Go-Mizunoo.[4]


  1. ^ Cullen, L.M. (2003). A History of Japan, 1582-1941: Internal and External Worlds, pp. 117, 163.
  2. ^ Sugita Genpaku. (1969). Dawn of Western Science in Japan: Rangaku Kotohajime, p. xvi.
  3. ^ a b Online "Significant Earthquake Database" -- U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC)
  4. ^ National Ditigial Archives of Japan, ...see caption describing image of scroll


  • Cullen, L.M. (2003). A History of Japan, 1582-1941: Internal and External Worlds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-82115-X (cloth) ISBN 0-521-529918-2 (paper)
  • Sugita Genpaku. (1969). Dawn of Western Science in Japan: Rangaku Kotohajime. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press. ISBN 0-8934-6061-3 (reprint)

External links

Bunka 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th
Gregorian 1804 1805 1806 1807 1808 1809 1810 1811 1812 1813 1814 1815 1816 1817 1818
Preceded by
Era or nengō

Succeeded by


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