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Kōka (弘化) was a Japanese era name (年号,, nengō,, literally "year name") after Tenpō and before Kaei. This period spanned the years from December 1844 through February 1848.[1] The reigning emperors were Ninkō-tennō (仁孝天皇) and Kōmei-tennō (孝明天皇).

Change of era[edit]

  • December 2, 1844 (Kōka gannen (弘化元年)): The new era name of Kōka, meaning "Becoming Wide or Vast", was created to mark a fire at Edo Castle in Tenpō 15.

The nengo was not changed concurrent with the accession of Emperor Komei; instead, the Kōka era was retained until about a year after the new emperor was enthroned.[2]

Events of the Kōka era[edit]

  • 1847 (Kōka 4): A major earthquake was recorded.
  • 1848 (Kōka 5): The last subscription noh of the premodern era.[3]

During these years, Hiroshige began making a series of prints showing beautiful women in contexts of famous places.[4]


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kōka" Japan Encyclopedia, p. 546, p. 546, at Google Books; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File Archived 2012-05-24 at Archive.today.
  2. ^ Keene, Donald. (2005). Emperor of Japan: Meiji and his world, 1852-1912, p. 101., p. 101, at Google Books
  3. ^ Rath, Eric C. (2006). The Ethos of Noh: Actors And Their Art, p. 218., p. 218, at Google Books
  4. ^ Oka, Isaburo. (1987). Hiroshige: Japan's great landscape artist, p. 87., p. 87, at Google Books


  • Keene, Donald. (2005). Emperor of Japan: Meiji and his world, 1852-1912. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231123419; OCLC 57750432
  • Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 48943301

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tenpō (天保)
Era or nengō
Kōka (弘化)

Succeeded by
Kaei (嘉永)