The Heisei era, which started in 1989, will come to an end on April 30, 2019. What happened during the 30-year period of the Heisei era? Let’s find out!
Beginning of Heisei: 1989
The Heisei era started on January 8, 1989. Consumption tax was introduced for the first time in April.
It was also the year Nintendo released Game Boy spurring an age of gaming.
Heisei Year 2: 1990
In 1990, Sanrio Puroland was opened and Hello Kitty fans have fond memories of visiting this place ample number of times.
Sanrio Puroland discount tickets are here!
Heisei Year 5: 1993
THe year when “loose socks” (ルーズソックス) became popular. Inspired from American hiking socks, these became a hit among Japanese high school girls who started pairing them with school uniforms.
Heisei Year 8: 1996
In 1996, Bandai introduced Tamagotchi which became one of the biggest toy fads of the 90s. Shaped like an egg, this digital toy was available in various colors.
Heisei Year 9: 1997
Consumption tax increased from 3% to 5% in 1997.
It was also the time when “Ganguro,” a fashion fad where women tanned their skin, highlighted their hair with light colors and wore bright makeup.
Heisei Year 11: 1999
The song Dango 3 Kyodai (だんご三兄弟) released in a children’s program becaome the No. 1 hit on the Japanese Oricon weekly singly charts selling over a million copies.
There’s even a shop that sold these dango skewers!
Heisei Year 12: 2000
A new bill of 2,000 yen was issued for the year 2000. Find out about Japan’s currency designs: https://press.ikidane-nippon.com/en/a00467
Heisei Year 13: 2001
The 21st century saw the opening of DisneySea in Tokyo and the Universal Studios Japan ™ in Osaka.
In addition, the IC card “Suica” service was started in JR East and the Tokyo area.
Heisei Year 16: 2004
The bills currently in use were issued in 2004.
New bills are introduced every 20 years in Japan!
Heisei Year 19: 2007
One of the things that gained immense popularity this year was raw caramel (生キャラメル).
Heisei Year 24: 2012
The world’s tallest tower, Tokyo Skytree, opened to the public.
Heisei Year 25: 2013
The highest mountain and a symbol of Japan, Mt. Fuji, was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Heisei Year 26: 2014
A second consumption tax increase during the Heisei Era took place after 17 years.
Consumption tax increases to 8%
Heisei Year 29: 2017
Ueno Zoo’s panda, Xiang Xiang, was born! Check out this video 100 days after the birth.
The new era, 令和 (Reiwa)
Of course, we haven’t covered all that happened over the last thirty years but these were some of the things that the Japanese most remember of the Heisei Era. What do you think will grab the attention of Japanese society in the coming era?