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History of Japan



Kan'ei (寛永 ?) was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō, ?, lit. "year name") after Genna and before Shōhō. This period spanned the years from February 1624 through December 1643.[1] The reigning emperors and empress were Go-Mizunoo-tennō (後水尾天皇 ?), Meishō-tennō (明正天皇 ?) and Go-Kōmyō-tennō (後光明天皇 ?).[2]


Change of era

  • 1624 Kan'ei gannen (寛永元年 ?): The era name was changed to mark the start of a new cycle of the Chinese zodiac. The previous era ended and a new one commenced in Genna 9, on the 30th day of the 2nd month. This era name is derived from 広、長 (meaning "Broad Leniency, Eternal Leader")

Events of the Kan'ei era

  • 1629 (Kan'ei 1): Construction on the Hōei-zan temple began.[2]
  • November 4, 1626 (Kan'ei 3, 16th day of the 9th month): Emperor Go-Mizunoo and the empress visited to Nijō Castle; and they were accompanied by Princes of the Blood, palace ladies and kuge. Among the precedents for this was the Tenshō era visit of Emperor Go-Yōozei to Hideyoshi's extravagant Heian-kyo mansion, Juraku-dai (which Hideyoshi himself would tear down in the 12th month of Bunroku 2).[3]
  • 1627 (Kan'ei 6): The "Purple Clothes Incident" (紫衣事件, shi-e jiken ?) -- The Emperor was accused of having bestowed honorific purple garments to more than ten priests despite the shogun's edict which banned them for two years (probably in order to break the bond between the Emperor and religious circles). The shogunate intervened making the bestowing of the garments invalid.
  • December 22, 1629 ( Kan'ei 6, 8th day of the 11th month): The emperor renounced the throne in favor of his daughter, Kyōshi[2]
  • March 14, 1632 (Kan'ei 9, 24th day of the 1st month): Former Shogun Hidetada died.[2]
  • February 28, 1633 (Kan'ei 10, 20th day of the 1st month): There was an earthquake in Odawara in the Sagami.[2]
  • 1634 (Kan'ei 11, 7th month): Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu appeared at Court in Miyako; and he visited ex-emperor Go-Mizunoo.[4]
  • Compare with April 22, 1863 (Bunkyu 3, 5th day of the 3rd month ): Shogun Tokugawa Iemochi came to the capital and had an audience. This was the first time since the visit of Iemitsu in Kan'ei 11, 230 years before, that a shogun had visited Heian-kyō. In Bunkyo 3, Iemochi was summoned by the Emperor Komei; and when he traveled from Edo to the capital, the shogun had 3,000 retainers as escort.[5]
  • 1635 (Kan'ei 12): An ambassador from the King of Korea is received in Heian-kyō.[2]
  • 1637 (Kan'ei 14): There is a major Christian rebellion in Arima and Shimabara; shogunal forces are sent to quell the disturbance.[2]
  • 1638 (Kan'ei 15): The Christian revolt is crushed; and 37,000 of the rebels are killed. The Christian religion is extirpated in Japan.[2]
  • 1640 (Kan'ei 17): A Spanish ship from Macao brought a delegation of 61 people to Nagasaki. They arrived on July 6, 1640; and on August 9th, all of them were decapitated and their heads were stuck on poles.[2]
  • 1643 (Kan'ei 20): An ambassador from the king of Korea arrives in Heian-kyō.[6]
  • November 10, 1643 (Kan'ei 20, 29th day of the 9th month): In the 15th year of Empress Meishō's reign (明正天皇15年), the empress abdicated; and the succession (senso) was received by her brother.[7]
  • December 15, 1643 (Kan'ei 20, 5th day of the 11th month): Emperor Go-Komyō is said to have acceded to the throne (‘‘sokui’’).[7]


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kan'ei" in Japan encyclopedia, p. 468; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 411.
  3. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 317.
  4. ^ Titsingh, p. 411; Ponsonby-Fane, p. 317
  5. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, p. 325.
  6. ^ Titsingh, p. 412.
  7. ^ a b Titsingh, p. 412; Varley, H. Paul. (1980). Jinnō Shōtōki, p. 44. [A distinct act of senso is unrecognized prior to Emperor Tenji; and all sovereigns except Jitō, Yōzei, Go-Toba, and Fushimi have senso and sokui in the same year until the reign of Go-Murakami.



External links

Kan'ei 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th
Gregorian 1624 1625 1626 1627 1628 1629 1630 1631 1632 1633 1634 1635 1636 1637 1638 1639 1640 1641 1642 1643

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