Mysterious Era Name "Tensei" Seen on Stone Monuments in Kochi Pref.

Society Culture

Kochi, March 26 (Jiji Press)--The words reading "tensei," which has never been adopted as an official era name in Japan but was used in certain areas in present-day Kochi Prefecture shortly before the start of the Meiji era (1868-1912), are seen on some stone monuments and in other materials in the western Japan prefecture.

The name is shrouded in mystery, with details about it unknown.

According to sources including Kochi Castle Museum of History, it has been confirmed that the era name of tensei, inscribed in three different patterns of spelling in kanji characters, was used in what are now four cities and four towns in Kochi, spreading over some 120 kilometers, from the town of Tano in the eastern part of the prefecture to the town of Shimanto in the west. These areas were part of the former Tosa Domain, now Kochi.

Stone monuments, among the 13 tensei materials in question, show that the first year of the "tensei" era corresponded to the third year of the Keio era, or 1867. In other areas in Japan, the Keio era continued until the Meiji era began the following year.

Local experts have offered their own views about the mysterious era name.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press