The Daily Manila Shimbun


EXCLUSIVE: Reiwa calligraphy to be kept at National Archives

May 12, 2019

Tokyo--The government plans to archive the calligraphic work that Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga used when announcing the new era name Reiwa, at the National Archives of Japan from spring 2021, Jiji Press learned Saturday.

The calligraphy will be made public, and a digital print of the work will be available for commercial use, government sources said.

The work was written by a Cabinet Office specialist in writing calligraphic letters of government appointment on April 1 this year, the day Reiwa was announced as the name of the era to replace the previous Heisei on May 1.

According to guidelines for the management of government records, the preservation period for the work is set to start April 1, 2020.

The government will transfer the work to the national archives as a specified historical public record after the preservation period, which is expected to last one year, if there are no special changes in circumstance, the sources said.

The national archives will scan and digitize the work for display in its online archives. The data will be freely downloadable and be available for corporations to use for commercial purposes.

Several copies of the writing were made immediately after the announcement of Reiwa. The work is now carefully preserved, and making copies is banned to stop the original from deteriorating.

The calligraphy for Heisei, shown by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Keizo Obuchi at a press conference when the era changed from Showa in 1989, is also kept at the archives. Digital versions of the Heisei writing can be downloaded from the organization's website.

This year, the archives made a hit with a document folder bearing the Heisei calligraphy. Jiji Press