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Kengen (乾元?), also known as Kangen or Ken'ei, was a Japanese era (年号, nengō,?, lit. "year name") after Shōan and before Kagen. This period started in November 1302 and ended in August 1303.[1] During this time, the emperor was Go-Nijō-tennō (後二条天皇?).[2]

Events of the Kengen era

  • 1302 (Kengen 1): The central structure of Shin-Yakushi-ji Buddhist temple complex was repaired during the Kengen Era. It is one of the oldest wooden buildings in Japan. It still has some of its original woodwork from its 8th century construction.[3]
  • 1302 (Kengen 1, 6th month): Emperor Go-Nijō made a formal visit to the retirement home of his grandfather, the former Emperor Kameyama.[4] Late the same night, Kameyama sent a poem to his grandson in the Imperial palace. Emperor Go-Nijō responded with a poem:

English translation
When I raised my eyes
unable to bear the thought
of saying goodbye,
the moon had hidden its light
in the realm above the clouds.

Romaji transliteration
nagori ni taezu
tsuki o mireba
kumo no ue ni zo
kage wa narinuru[4]

Beyond numbering
will be the occasions
when we two will meet
for you are surely destined
to live a thousand years.

kimi wa yoshi
chitose no yawai
aimin koto no
kazu mo shirarezu[4]

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Kengen 1st 2nd
1302 1303
Preceded by:
Era or nengō:
Succeeded by: