Japan’s new imperial era Reiwa begins May 1, 2019. It’s a historic event that is unusually festive given that the era change comes as a result of abdication, rather than the emperor’s death. You can read more about Reiwa and the meaning behind the characters but did you know that the new era comes with it’s own official color scheme? It’s true. Now you can coordinate your ultimate Reiwa style.
Established in 1953, the Japan Fashion Color Association (JAFCA) is tasked with, among other things, assigning official colors to imperial festivities like marriages.
For the new Reiwa Era, the association has chosen ume (plum), sumire (violet) and sakura (cherry). Below are actual color coordinates:
The colors, according to JAFCA, were chosen because each represents a flower of Spring. But there are also references to some of them in the manyoshu, the ancient text that served as inspiration for the naming of Reiwa.
Now you’ll never be caught wearing something that is “so Heisei.”
Here are some other examples of JAFCA coming up with official imperial color schemes. Above is from 1959 – the official festive colors of the Emperor’s wedding. Below is from 1993 when the Emperor’s son, who will now be ascending to the thrown, was married.