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Few Japanese born in the Meiji Era will live long enough to see the dawn of the Reiwa Era, which will begin on May 1, but those who do can offer a glimpse at past generations while providing context for the next.

Era names (gengo) have come to represent the generations of those who lived through them, unlocking bygone memories — some painful, some joyful, but all very personal — to those who experienced them.

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