Translated by MATCHA_En
The Showa Period - Japanese Encyclopedia
Written by MATCHA
The Showa period is term for the post WWI era to the 1989, which saw further changes and developments in Japan, including those of the post-WWII period and the early Bubble era. Read on to find out about what exactly Showa is, and what it means to the Jap
The Showa period is the almost 60 year span from 1926 to 1989. This era witnessed several dramatic changes, which can't be summed up in just a couple of words, but includes the Second World War and its aftermath, as well as the economic rebirth of Japan, the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and even the early Japanese asset bubble, when the economy of Japan rapidly inflated. When Japanese people say "it's a lot like Showa" though, they tend to mean the mid-Showa era, a time of dramatic upheaval, although this term is also used to mean 'the good old days' as remembered by baby-boomers and their parents.
The Japanese Are Enchanted by the Showa Period
Japan, at that time, experienced high-growth economy and various electrical goods came into people's lives. Western and traditional Japanese cultures were intertwining. Though the people were quite poor, they helped each other to survive and ultimately in a slightly more laid back society. Children were more at-ease, and life in general seemed to be at its most stable. People nowadays often express a strong sense of nostalgia for this relatively stress-free and community-minded era, despite the financial and technological gains of the modern day. It is the time that the majority of the baby-boomer and their parents remember fondly, and is often depicted in movies and television to this day as being 'modern Japan'.
Showa Themed Establishments Are Still Popular Today!
There has been a movement to promote more regional towns by making use of this Showa nostalgia.
For example, Bungotakada Town in Oita prefecture has successfully turned its "Showa no machi" into a tourist site by revitalizing its old shopping district. Also, many food theme parks with a "Showa" concept have become popular nowadays, such as, the Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum (Yokohama, Kanagawa), and Takimi Koji (Kita-ku, Osaka).
There are many similar establishments, which will gratify people from all generations; the elderly will find them nostalgic, while young people perhaps might consider them to be quite new and unique.