There is no better way to remember something than with a keepsake of it, and the city of Seki, Gifu Prefecture, seems to think there’s no better keepsake than a can of air.
Earlier this month, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga held up a placard with two kanji characters to announce the name of the new Japanese imperial era: Reiwa. With the Reiwa era beginning at midnight on May 1, many people are taking the time to commemorate the events of the soon-to-end Heisei era (which started in 1989), whether it be personal achievements or trends in general.
Seki’s Henari neighborhood wants to show special thanks to the Heisei period, since Henari is written in Japanese as 平成, which just so happens to be the same way Heisei is written. The district wants people to always appreciate the old while welcoming the new, and so the idea came about that putting air captured in Henari into a can along with a five-yen coin as the best way to give thanks.
▼ The coin is because the Japanese word for “five yen,” goen, sounds exactly like the one for “good luck.”
According to Heso Production, the mastermind behind this air can, the people of Henari themselves gathered the last air of the Heisei era and sealed it in the cans, which are being sold for 1,080 yen (US$9.70) each, with online orders to be made here.
▼ The canning process
Buyers can choose to open these cans whenever they like, so it’s up to you whether you’ll open it right when the Reiwa era starts or save it until later.
Whether you really feel that a can of air is enough to show your appreciation to an entire era, we have to admit that it’s an interesting idea, and definitely a unique way to commemorate and give thanks for the 30 nice years Heisei has brought us while looking forward to a new beginning.