After creating an OS X dashboard widget to converting Korean 檀紀 years into to western years, it was only a matter of time before another moment of distraction got me to playing with the idea of creating widgets for converting Japanese and Chinese calendars. After a long day of reading about US rice control policies in Korea 1945-1948, I treated myself to some more tinkering and managed to slap together a new widget for some Japanese dates:
It unfortunately appears that the widget will not work on OS X versions earlier than 10.4.3.
When you install the widget, just select the period you want (or leave it on whatever period you used last), type the number of the year you want, and press return. It will convert the date into western years. It currently supports conversion from 明治, 大正, 昭和, and 平成 years. If there are a lot of comments here expressing interest, I can add earlier periods easily enough, but I won’t bother unless there is some demand for it.
UPDATE: While looking around for an online version of a chart detailing the conversion of pre-Meiji Japanese dates, I found that there is no reason for me to upgrade this little widget to cover the premodern. There is already a great widget out there with full support for these older periods. Anyone studying pre-modern Japanese history who uses a Mac should definitely check out the fantastic NegoCalc application, which includes a dashboard widget! Read more and download the application here: