This is how a new era begins
I found an interesting video, showing the exact moment when Japan changed from Showa (昭和) era to Heisei (平成) era in 1989 when Hirohito emperor died. It was the first time that a era change was broadcasted on TV:
Right now it’s the year 19 of Heisei’s era which is the same as 2007 in the western world. The era based system is only used in history books, in some newspapers, in coins/bills/stamps and also in official documents and forms where you have to input your date of birth depending on the era. For example I was born in the year 56 Showa (昭和). For other stuff they usually use the western system based on our current Christian era.
I wonder when we will change era in the western world…