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Kanbun (寛文 ?), also romanized as Kambun, was a Japanese era (年号, nengō, ?, lit. "year name") after Manji and before Enpō. This period spanned the years from April 1661 to September 1673.[1] The reigning emperors were Go-Sai-tennō (後西天皇 ?) and Reigen-tennō (霊元天皇 ?).[2]


Change of era

  • 1661 Kanbun 1 (寛文元年 ?): The new era name of Kanbun (meaning "Generous Art") was created to mark a number of disasters including a great fire at the Imperial Palace. The previous era ended and a new one commenced in Manji 4.

Events of the Kanbun era

  • March 20, 1662 (Kanbun 2, 1st day of the 2nd month): There was a violent earthquake in Heian-kyō which destroyed the tomb of Toyotomi Hideyoshi .[3]
  • 1620 (Kanbun 2): Emperor Gosai ordered Tosa Hiromichi 土佐広通 (1561-1633), a Tosa school disciple, to adopt the name Sumiyoshi (probably in reference to a 13th century painter, Sumiyoshi Keinin 住吉慶忍), upon assuming a position as official painter for the Sumiyoshi Taisha 住吉大社).[4]
  • March 5, 1663 (Kanbun 3, 26th day of the 1st month): Go-sai abdicated in favor of his younger brother, Satohito, aged 10; and then he lived in complete retirement until his death.[5]
  • June 6, 1663 (Kanbun 3, 1st day of the 5th month): An earthquake struck in Ōmi province.[3]
  • 1665 (Kanbun 5, 6th month): Courts of inquiry were established in all the villages of the empire. These courts were charged with discovering the faith of the inhabitants, and their express purpose was to discover and eradicate all remnants of Christianity and Christian believers in Japan.
  • 1668 (Kanbun 8, 1st day of the 2nd month): A major fire broke out in Edo -- a conflagration lasting 45 days. The disastrous fire was attributed to arson. Residents of Edo and later historians of the period also called this the fire of the eighth year of Kanbun.[6]
  • 1670 (Kanbun 10): The Bonin Islands (Ogasawara Islands) are discovered by the Japanese when a ship bound for Edo from Kyushu is blown off course by a storm.[7]


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kambun" in Japan encyclopedia, p. 460; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File.
  2. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 413-414.
  3. ^ a b Titsingh, p. 413.
  4. ^ "Sumiyoshi" in Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System (JAANUS} Internet article (in English)
  5. ^ Titsingh, p. 413; Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, p. 284.
  6. ^ Titsingh, p. 414.
  7. ^ Tanaka, Hiroyuki. (1993). "The Ogasawara Islands in Tokugawa Japan," Kaiji Shi Kenkyuu (Journal of the Maritime History).


External links

Kanbun 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th
Gregorian 1661 1662 1663 1664 1665 1666 1667 1668 1669 1670 1670 1671 1672 1673

Preceded by:

Era or nengō:

Succeeded by:

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