Japanese era from January 1855 to April 1860

Ansei (安政) was a Japanese era name (年号,, nengō,, lit. "year name") after Kaei and before Man'en. This period started in November 1854 and ended in March 1860.[1] During this time, the emperor was Kōmei-tennō (孝明天皇).[2]

The nengō Ansei means "tranquil government".[3]

Events of the Ansei era

Silver coin minted in the Ansei era
  • 1854 (Ansei 1): The Ansei-Nankai Quake (安政南海地震, Ansei Nankai Jishin) was an 8.4 magnitude earthquake which struck on December 24, 1854. Over 10,000 people from the Tōkai region down to Kyushu were killed.[4]
  • 1855 (Ansei 2): After the Imperial Palace was destroyed by fire in 1854 (Kaei 7), it was re-built in nine months.[5]
  • 1855 (Ansei 2, 21st day of the 11th month): The emperor moved in a grand procession from the Katsura Palace to the newly completed palace in Kyoto.[5]
  • 15 November 1857 (Ansei 4): Nagasaki Medical School was opened. Dr. Pompe van Meerdevoort gave the first formal public lecture at the new school.[8]
  • 1858-1860 (Ansei 4-Ansei 6): Cholera killed between 100,000 and 200,000 people in Edo.[9]
  • 1858 (Ansei 5): Beginning of Ansei Purge which was ordered by Ii Naosuke.[12]


  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Ansei" Japan Encyclopedia, p. 33.
  2. Nussbaum, "Kōmei Tennō," p. 553.
  3. Satow, Ernest Mason. (1905). Japan 1853-1864, Or, Genji Yume Monogatari, p. 11.
  4. 4.0 4.1 _____. (2007). "Great Earthquakes of Ansei" (安政大地震, Ansei Daijishin) in Historical Encyclopedia of Great Edo (大江戸歴史百科, Ō-Edo Rekishi Hyakka), p. 253.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1956). Kyoto: The Old Capital of Japan, 794-1869. p. 324.
  6. Smits, Gregory. "Shaking up Japan: Edo Society and the 1855 Catfish Picture Prints" Archived 2007-12-30 at the Wayback Machine, Journal of Social History, No 39, No. 4, Summer 2006.
  7. NOAA/Japan "Significant Earthquake Database" -- U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC)
  8. Whitney, Willis Norton. (1885). "Notes on the history of medical progress in Japan", Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, pp. 841-842.
  9. "Local agrarian societies in colonial India: Japanese perspectives.". Kaoru Sugihara, Peter Robb, Haruka Yanagisawa (1996). p 313.
  10. Ozaki, Yukio. (2001). The Autobiography of Ozaki Yukio, p. 21.
  11. Cullen, Louis M. (2003). A History of Japan, 1582-1941: Internal and External Worlds, p. 180-186.
  12. Cullen, pp. 184-188.
  13. Cullen, p. 184.

Other websites


Ansei 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860
Preceded by:
Era or nengō:
Succeeded by: