Japan is vibrant, colourful, successful, romantic, dangerous, exciting. Not the Japan you know? Japan uses a calendar based on the reigns of the emperors. The reign of the Emperor Hirohito was called the Showa era and lasted for the 65 years 1926-1989. Showa was everything Heisei is not: vibrant, colourful, successful, romantic, dangerous, exciting. Many in Japan look back on the Showa Era with great nostalgia. ”Showa 88” has taken the best part of a decade in its gestation. Imagine an alternative reality in which the Showa Era never ended.