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Bunka (文化) was a Japanese era name (年号, nengō, "year name") after Kyōwa and before Bunsei. The period spanned the years from January 1804 to April 1818.[1] The reigning emperors were Kōkaku-tennō (光格天皇) and Ninkō-Tennō (仁孝天皇).

Change of era

  • February 11, 1804 (Bunka gannen (文化元年)): The new era name of Bunka ( meaning "Culture" or "Civilization") was created to mark the start of a new 60-year cycle of the Heavenly Stem and Earthly Branch system of the Chinese calendar which was on New Year's Day, the new moon day of 2 November 1804. The previous era ended and a new one commenced in Kyōwa 4.

Events of the Bunka era

  • 1804 (Bunka 1): Daigaku-no-kami Hayashi Jussai (1768–1841) explained the shogunate foreign policy to Emperor Kōkaku in Kyoto.[2]
  • June 1805 (Bunka 2): Genpaku Sugita (1733–1817) is granted an audience with Shōgun Ienari to explain differences between traditional medical knowledge and Western medical knowledge.[3]
  • September 25, 1810 (Bunka 7, 27th day of the 8thmonth): Earthquake in northern Honshū (Latitude: 39.900/Longitude: 139.900), 6.6 magnitude on the Surface wave magnitude scale.[4]...Click link for NOAA/Japan: Significant Earthquake Database
  • December 7, 1812 (Bunka 9, 4th day of the 11th month): Earthquake in Honshū (Latitude: 35.400/Longitude: 139.600), 6.6 magnitude.[4]
  • 1817 (Bunka 14): Emperor Kokaku travelled in procession to Sento Imperial Palace, a palace of an abdicated emperor. The Sento Palace at that time was called Sakura Machi Palace. It had been built by the Tokugawa Shogunate for former-Emperor Go-Mizunoo.[5]


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Bunka" Japan Encyclopedia, p. 91, p. 91, at Google Books; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File.
  2. ^ Cullen, L.M. (2003). A History of Japan, 1582-1941: Internal and External Worlds, pp. 117, 163.
  3. ^ Sugita Genpaku. (1969). Dawn of Western Science in Japan: Rangaku Kotohajime, p. xvi.
  4. ^ a b Online "Significant Earthquake Database" -- U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC)
  5. ^ National Ditigial Archives of Japan, ...see caption describing image of scroll Archived 2008-01-19 at the Wayback Machine


  • Cullen, Louis M. (2003). A History of Japan, 1582–1941: Internal and External Worlds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521821551; ISBN 9780521529181; OCLC 50694793
  • Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 48943301
  • Sugita Genpaku. (1930). Dawn of Western Science in Japan (蘭學事始, Rangaku kotohajime). Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten. OCLC 9424185

External links

Preceded by
Kyōwa (享和)
Era or nengō
Bunka (文化)

Succeeded by
Bunsei (文政)