Regarding the Big in Japan column titled “New era offers an opportunity to reassess the future” in the April edition, “What’s in a name?” your writer asks, quoting Shakespeare. It seems to me that the Japanese place great importance on choosing names, along with the proper kanji to accompany them. Recalling, as I do, all the pomp and ceremony and general brouhaha that accompanied the change from Showa to Heisei, it seems that the transformation from Heisei to Reiwa is already producing the same level of excitement.

Even in these times of rapid change, most countries strive to maintain their old traditions, and Japan, to its great credit, is among the world’s leaders in protecting and preserving its splendid heritage. However, I personally believe that there are times when a stubborn adherence to tradition can actually be an impediment to progress.

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