Meidjirequi

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The Meidji Calendar, or Meidjirequi (明治暦), Mieñjiriek in Corean is the calendar in use in the Empire of Japan. It was devised by Emperor Meidji, hence the name. At the time, it was called simply Nipponrequi (日本暦, Japanese Calendar). The calendar took effect with the year Meidji 8 (1875). The Meidjirequi is based on the traditional six-day week, the rocuyò, preserved in Japan:

先勝 Senxò/Sensyñ
友引 Tomobiqui/Uin
先負 Semmaque/Senbu
仏滅 Buçumeçu/Pulmiel
大安 Taian/Taian
赤口 Xaccu/Chekku

Unlike the Western week, however, the rocuyò is tied to the months. Every month begins with a specific day. The 5th, 6th, 11th, 12th, 17th, 18th, 23rd, 24th, 29th, and 30th are treated as weekends in Japan.

The year begins on February 4 in the Gregorian calendar. Months are either 30 or 31 days, with the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 8th, and 11th months being 31 days, and the rest being 30 days. In leap years, the last month becomes 31 days. Leap years are multiples of 4, counting from the traditional founding of the Japanese Empire by Djimmu in 660 BC (thus, for example, 2004 is equivalent to 2664). Leap years are, therefore, the same years as in the Gregorian calendar. Multiples of 128, again in the Djimmu-based chronology, are exceptions. As it turns out, the year AD 1900 (2560) was a non-leap year in both calendars. However, in the Gregorian year 2028, the calendar will lose a day relative to the Gregorian calendar, starting on February 3.

Months

The first days of each month in the Gregorian calendar. In leap years, all the months after itxigaçu are moved back 1 day, thus Nigaçu starts March 6 rather than March 7.

一月 Itxigaçu/Iluel: February 4 (Senxò)
二月 Nigaçu/Iuel: March 7 (Tomobiqui)
三月 Sañgaçu/Samuel: April 6 (Semmaque)
四月 Xigaçu/Sauel: May 7 (Buçumuçu)
五月 Gogaçu/Ouel: June 6 (Taian)
六月 Rocugaçu/Iuguel: July 6 (Xaccu)
七月 Xitxigaçu/Chiluel: August 6 (Senxò)
八月 Hatxigaçu/Phaluel: September 5 (Tomobiqui)
九月 Cugaçu/Kuuel: October 6 (Semmaque)
十月 Djùgaçu/Sibuel: November 5 (Buçumuçu)
十一月 Djùitxigaçu/Sibiluel: December 5 (Taian)
十二月 Djùnigaçu/Sibiuel: January 5 (Xaccu)

All of these months have nicknames, some having several. For example, the third month is known, in Japanese, as Sacurazuqui (Cherry Blossom Month), as it is in that month that cherry trees bloom. The tenth month is often called Cannazuqui (Godless Month), from an ancient belief that in the tenth month, the gods all gather in one place to discuss the affairs of mankind during the next year. Thus, that is the month when the gods are inaccessible. However, the nicknames are uncommon in modern times.

Some important holidays

1/1: New Year's
2/8: Corean Constitution Day
3/2: Candjiqui/Hansik
3/3: Girls' Day
3/24: Love of Nature Day (originally Emperor Xòwa's birthday, designated in Saisei 16; generally celebrated on the 25th)
4/8: Buddha's Birthday (Hana maçuli)
4/18: Tennò Tandjòbi/Chenuañ Thansaiñil - Emperor's birthday
4/19: formerly Emperor's birthday
5/4: Imperial Constitution Day
5/5: Boys' Day - celebrated 5/7
5/8: Reunification Day (day that Ezo was formally reunited with Japan)
7/7: Tanabata
8/13-15: Obon/Chhusek
8/28: Corean Foundation Day
9/10: Hangyl Day
9/29: Culture Day - Originally the birthday of Emperor Meidji (generally celebrated on the 28th)
11/27: Empire Day - Originally the birthday of Emperor Saisei
12/6: Lùquiù Day (celebrated Lùquiù's admission to the Empire)- usually celebrated 12/7

Years

Years are numbered according to eras. In modern times, eras are equal to the reign of an Emperor. Eras of the modern era are:

明治 Meidji/Mieñji 1868-1906
大正 Taixò/Thaijeñ 1906-1922
後明治 Gomeidji/Humieñji 1922-1933
昭和 Xòwa/Sohua 1933-1952
再生 Saisei/Chaisaiñ 1952-2004
学代 Gacudai/Haktai 2004-2006
魂才 Consai/Honjai 2006-

Years are named by giving the era name followed by the number of the year within that era, thus, 1873 = Meidji 6. The first year of an era is known as Gannen/Uennien (元年). Thus, for example, the year 2004 is Gacudai Gannen or Haktai Uennien.

Prior to the Meiji era, years were commonly given in terms of the "Edo Era", marking the reign of the Tocugawa shoguns, considered to have begun in 1603. However, government documents used the traditional era system, which, at the time, was divorced from imperial reigns. The eras during the preceding two emperors' reigns (giving the first years of each era):

120. 仁孝 Niñcò 1817-1846 (Buñca 13-Còca 3)
文化 Buñca 1804
文政 Bunsei 1818
天保 Tempò 1830
弘化 Còca 1844
121. 孝明 Còmei 1846-1867 (Còca 3-Guendji 4)
嘉永 Caei 1848
安政 Ansei 1854
万延 Mañen 1860
文久 Buñquiù 1861
元治 Guendji 1864

Eras were innaugurated by Emperors, though a few Emperors began no eras, for example, in the case of the female Emperor Meixò, who reigned from 1629 until 1643, her entire reign was part of the Cañei era, which was begun in 1624 by her father Gomizuno'o, and ended in 1644 when her successor and half-brother Gocòmiò started the Xòhò era.

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