If you are describing a year as


rather than


Can you similarly use 年代 for decades, such as


or does that convention only apply when using the Christian calendar

  • 3
    Short answer is: yes you can.
    – Eddie Kal
    Jan 16, 2022 at 0:08

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can safely use 年代 like that. 昭和40年代 refers to 1965–1974.

Note that 年代 does not always refer to decades. For example, 1600年代 typically refers to 1600–1699.

  • I temporarily confused 時代 with 年代. I edited it now. I had meant to ask about 年代. Jan 16, 2022 at 2:29
  • Why would X年代 refer to a period starting with X for decades but ending stricly before X for centuries? Does 1600年代 really mean 1 year before 16世紀?
    – Kimball
    Jan 17, 2022 at 14:00
  • @Kimball Oh, sorry, it was a simple mistake. 1600年代 refers to 1600-1699, 16世紀 refers to 1501-1600.
    – naruto
    Jan 18, 2022 at 0:24
  • Okay, now that makes sense.
    – Kimball
    Jan 18, 2022 at 13:13

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