Reiwa calligraphy to be preserved permanently

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga holds up the calligraphic work used to announce the new Reiwa era name to the public on April 1, 2019.

The Reiwa calligraphic work used by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga when he was chief cabinet secretary to announce the new era name to the public in 2019 will be preserved permanently at the National Archives of Japan.

Written in black ink, the calligraphy may be made public in special exhibitions and other occasions.

The work was created by a Cabinet Office official and is classified as an administrative document created by administrative agencies as part of their duties.

Most such documents are discarded after a certain period of time, however, historically important documents are subject to permanent preservation as “specified historical public documents and the like” under the Public Records and Archives Management Law.

After the preservation period for the calligraphy in the Cabinet Office ended at the end of March, it was transferred to the National Archives of Japan. The document is now kept in a room with moderate temperature and humidity, with measures taken to prevent mold and infestation.

The document will not be displayed as a permanent exhibition, because the paper can become discolored over time when exposed to light.

The Heisei calligraphic work, which then Chief Cabinet Secretary Keizo Obuchi used to announce the new era to the public in 1989, was displayed in a special exhibition 30 years later in 2019.

Currently, replicas of the Heisei and Reiwa calligraphic works are on display at the National Archives of Japan.