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SpecialExhibition“world calendar 2019” Report



     SpecialExhibition world calendar 2019
 
 

Term:1 March – 31 May 2019.

Venue:Gekko (Moonlight) Astronomical Observatory (GAO), Shizuoka, Japan.

Organizer:GAO, International Foundation for Cultural Harmony.

Overview:For 2019 Special Exhibition “World Calendar 2019”, a total of over 100calendars from 34 countries/regions as well as two international organizationswere collected.  Among them,approximately 80 items were displayed at GAO’s Cosmo World (3rd floor).  The theme for this year was “Encounters withthe Different Culture.”  Hereunder, onlyfew of those calendars displayed are introduced.


Africa ★6 (Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Djibouti, Sudan, and Malawi)

1Sudan: An image of road construction workis shown; hence the calendar sponsor may be a general constructioncompany.  Supposedly, it may be hard workto do such work in this hot and big country.

Thename of month and date is written in Arabic characters only.  Since Arabic characters are written from theright to the left, the order of date is also written from the right to theleft, although the ordinary number reads from the left to the right.

Theweekend is Friday that is the Islam prayer day. The Islamic numeric characters are also written in the Arabic (orange).


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Quiz 1In thisCalendar Exhibition, another country displays the date from the right to theleft.  What is the country?)

2Djibouti:A desktop calendar of the Djibouti Central Bank is shown.  The month and date are written in French andEnglish.  The weekend holidays areFridays and Saturdays.

 


Europe ★8 (Italy, Ukraine, Switzerland, Czech, Norway, Poland, and Romania)

3〕 Czech: The photo of Litomysl city that iscalled as “a town harmonizing tradition and modern”.  The upper half is the image of the city andthe lower half is the calendar.  Typicaltraditional European towns are taken. The name of month is written in both Czech and English languages.  The day of the week is omitted, providing awide blank space.  It is a typical styleto place Sundays for weekend (at the right end), that is obvious from the redcolor for Sundays.

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4〕 Ukraine: A calendar of September isshown.  It looks like Mona Lisa, however,hands are birds and the clothes are grasses, a kind of trompe l’oeil.  Day of the week is written in both Russianand English languages.  The weekends areSundays.  The Russian (ex-USSR) culturecannot ignore the influence of Europe.

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Middle East 2(Israel, Jordan)

Asia 13(India, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, Bangladesh,Philippines, Myanmar, Maldives, Laos, South Korea, China, and Japan)

5India:A calendar of Children’s Forest Program by OISCA India Headquarters is shown.

The calendar hasincorporated four different dates; Gregorian solar calendar, Indian solarcalendar, Islamic calendar, and the south Indian regional (Malayalam) calendar.

Inthe past, each State in India used different languages, characters andcalendars; a country of true diversity!

6Laos:Calendar from January to March is shown. It looks like a telecommunication company’s calendar, since a smartphoneis held by a woman in the photo.  InAsia, many calendars’ week starts from Sunday. The name of month and date is indicated with Lao and abbreviated Englishlanguages.  A numeric zero is attached tothe number of each month, a popular phenomenon in the digital era?

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7SriLanka: a calendar of an insurance company is shown.  Do they fly kites in the new year likeJapan?  Unusual in Asia, the weekend isSunday.  Concerns of insurance businessindicates that the country has developed to some extent.  The name of month and date are printed inEnglish and un-legible languages, supposedly Sri Lanka and Tamil languages?

Januarycalendar: There are Public Holidays, Bank Holidays, Poyade Holidays, andHolidays for Merchants.  The Poyade,encircled with yellow color, is the full moon day which is the BuddhismHoliday.  The Bank Holidays should beaffected by the English culture.

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8〕 Myanmar: A university calendar (April toJune, Left) is shown.  The slogan reads“University for the development of the national races of the union”.  The cover photo is the lineup of ladies withlocal costumes.  Myanmar is the Buddhismcountry famous with Pagodas.

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A calendar of Myanmar(April): A vertical layout is sometimes used in foreign calendars.  The name of month and day of the week areprinted in Burmese and English languages. The abbreviation for Thursday only is in four characters that lookssomewhat strange.  Around 14 April, thereis a traditional New Year with five successive holidays.  The local lunar calendar is co-describeduntil 14 or 15 April.

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9〕 Thailand: A calendar (September and July)is shown.

TheWestern year 2019 is the year 2562 in Thailand. That is the year counted from the death of Buddha.  The name of month and name of the week aredescribed both in Thai and English languages. Four lunar phases (New, Waning, Full, and Waxing) are also shown.

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10〕 China: A calendar from Hong Kong isshown.

In this agriculturalcalendar, from the year of dog to the year of bore, the change seems to occurat the traditional New Year.  Instead ofthe bore, the pig is used.  The luckycolor of red is used in the calendar. The New Year holiday in the contemporary calendar is for one day, whileduring the traditional New Year in February, there are three successiveholidays.

 

Inaddition to the Chinese holidays, the US, Canadian, Australian, and UK holidaysare also printed.  The name of month isin English and number, and name of the week is in English and number fromMondays in Chinese characters.

11Bangladesh: A desktop calendar of theMinistry of Foreign Affairs is shown.  Asan Islamic country, the weekend holidays are Fridays and Saturdays.

[North and South America] 3 (USA, Chile, Venezuela, andDominica)

12USA: A monthly calendar of NASA isshown.  In September, the image of theISS (International Space Station) Japan module “Kibo (Hope)” is employed.  The week starts from Sunday, and four moonphases are printed.  Since the USA keepssome cultural distances from the traditional Europe, the holidays relevant tothe Christianism is Christmas only.

13Chile: A calendar of ESO (EuropeanSouthern Observatory) is shown.

InOctober (left), a VLT (very large telescope) consisted of four 8 metertelescopes is depicted.  The laser beamfrom a dome is for optical compensation of the atmospheric fluctuation.  A group of radio telescopes at ALMAinternational collaborative project (June, right).  English language is used with no holidayhighlighting.

 

 

In April, for thefirst time in history, an image of a black hole in M87 galaxy was released as aresult of worldwide collaboration of radio telescopes including ALMA.

[Oceania](Fiji)

International Orgaization〕 ★2United NationWorld Bank

[Japan](Approximately 50 items)

  

14Japan: Press release of the name of thenew era “Rei-wa” (Evening issue of Shizuoka Newspaper) is shown.

Asof 1 April, the new era name was disclosed. That is the 248th era name.

The new era name is“Rei-wa”, cited from the Japanese “Man-yo-shu”, the oldest collection of shortpoems.  Since the new era name has alwaysbeen chosen from Chinese classic literature, this is the first time that thenew era name was selected from the Japanese classic literature.

Also,this is the first time that a Chinese character “Rei” was used, while “Wa” hasbeen picked up for twenty times.  “Rei”means “elegant”.

Thenew era name will be effective from 1 May when the new Emperor is enthroned.

 

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Thechange in the name of era occurred while our special exhibition of the WorldCalendar 2019 was held.Whereas the origin of era name was China, at present,only Japan uses the era name.

In Japan, the first name ofera “Taika” was used in 645 AD.  Hence,although interrupted for a while, the era name has been continued since 701 AD(Taiho).  On this Globe, there has beenfew countries that has been using the era name for over 1,300 years, and somehistorians say that “the era name system is of a National treasure class”.  This may well be a typical Japanese culture.

 

15A modern “Mishima” calendar (April) isshown.

Up until April, bothChristian era and Japanese era are printed.

Forthis year, it is unusual that the Japanese era “Heisei” is described for eachmonth.  Most of all of the Japaneseshrine calendars list the Japanese era on the cover page while it is omitted oneach month page.

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[Answer to Quiz 1]: Since the booklet-type authentic Japanesecalendars are written vertically, the date is printed from the right to theleft.

 

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Modern“Mishima” calendar (May).

Whenthe time stage of editing the new year calendar, the new Japanese era name hasyet to be decided, therefore, the calendar editors managed to invent newideas.  For example, some of them madethe columns for the Japanese era in May and thereafter vacant.

Accordingto the TV news report in April, it seems that the “New Era Calendar”, that haslisted the new era name for May and thereafter, has been issued.

Sincethe announcement of the new era name occurs unexpectedly and abruptly,historically, there has been no calendar reflecting the new era year existing.


 

〔16TraditionalJapanese calendars

InJapan, every shrine issues a calendar.

Itmay be said that it is a sign of Japanese culture that places Gods and Buddhain its center.

 

Acknowledgments:For the special exhibition of “World Calendar 2019”, many foreign embassies inJapan, OISCA Foundation, Japan Society of Calendar Studies, Association ofMishima calendar, Todan Inc., etc. helped us. Thank you very much.

 

 

[Venue]Gekko (Moonlight) Astronomical Observatory (GAO), a historic observatory opento the public.  On 22 July 2017, a brandnew building was opened.

[Externalview of GAO]

 

 

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      Gekko Astronomical Observatory


 

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