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Kan'en (寛延) was a Japanese era name (年号,, nengō,, lit. "year name") after Enkyō and before Hōreki. This period spanned the years from July 1748 to October 1751.[1] The reigning emperor was Momozono-tennō (桃園天皇).[2]

Change of Era[edit]

  • 1748 Kan'en gannen (寛延元年): The era name was changed to Kan'en (meaning "Prolonging Lenience") to mark the enthronement of Emperor Momozono. The previous era ended and the new era commenced in Enkyō 5, on the 12th day of the 7th month.

Events of the Kan'en Era[edit]

  • 1748 (Kan'en 1): The first performance of the eleven-act puppet play Kanadehon Chushingura (A copybook of the treasury of loyal retainers), depicting the classic story of samurai revenge, the 1702 vendetta of the 47 rōnin.[3]
  • 1748 (Kan'en 1): Ambassadors from Korea and from the Ryukyu Islands were received at court in Heian-kyō.[2]
  • October 7, 1749 (Kan'en 2, 26th day of the 8th month): A terrific storm of wind and rain strikes Kyoto; and the keep of Nijō Castle is burnt after it was struck by lightning.[4]


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Kan'en" Japan Encyclopedia, p. 469, p. 469, 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. ^ a b Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 418.
  3. ^ Hall, John. (1988). The Cambridge History of Japan, p. xxiii.
  4. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, R. (1959). Kyoto: the Old Capital of Japan, 794-1869, p. 321; Titsingh, p. 418.


  • Hall, John Whitney. (1988). Early Modern Japan (The Cambridge History of Japan, Vol. 4). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521223553; OCLC 489633115
  • Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 48943301
  • Ponsonby-Fane, Richard A.B. (1956). Kyoto: the Old Capital, 794-1869. Kyoto: Ponsonby-Fane Memorial. OCLC 36644
  • Screech, Timon. (2006). Secret Memoirs of the Shoguns: Isaac Titsingh and Japan, 1779-1822. London: RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 978-0-203-09985-8; OCLC 65177072
  • Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Nihon Odai Ichiran; ou, Annales des empereurs du Japon. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Enkyō (延享)
Era or nengō
Kan'en (寛延)

Succeeded by
Hōreki (宝暦)