|KEY WORD : art history / general terms|
|Era name. The practice of naming eras originated in China when the first era name, Jian wu (Jp: Kengen 建元), was given to the period between 140-135 BC during the reign of Emperor Wu (Jp: *Kan Butei 漢武帝) in the early Han dynasty. In Japan, the system of era names was not adopted until the time of the 36th Emperor Koutoku 孝徳. This first era was called Taika 大化 and the dates 645-49 are generally cited, although the exact dates given for the first few eras sometimes vary. Early on, accession to the throne, a good omen, or a natural calamity was cause to change the name of an era, but beginning in the Meiji 明治 period (1868), only one era was named for each emperor.|
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