The Juche Idea (Korean: 주체사상, Chuch'e Sasang) is the official state ideology of North Korea and the political system based on it. The doctrine is a component part of Kimilsungism, the North Korean term for Kim Il-sung's family regime. Juche literally means "main body" or "subject"; it has also been translated in North Korean sources as "independent stand" and the "spirit of self-reliance".
The North Korean government and associated organizations use a variation of the Gregorian calendar with a Juche year based on April 15, 1912 AD, the date of birth of Kim Il-sung, as year 1. There is no Juche year 0. The calendar was introduced in 1997. Months are unchanged from those in the standard Gregorian calendar. In many instances, the Juche year is given after the AD year, for example, 27 June 2007 Juche 96. But in North Korean publications, the Juche year is usually placed before the corresponding AD year, as in Juche 96 (2007).
Calendar schemes based on political era are also found in the Japanese era name (Nengo) system and in the Minguo calendar used in the Republic of China (Taiwan), though these are not based on the birth of an individual as in the Gregorian and Juche calendars. Incidentally, the year numbers of the Juche calendar, Minguo calendar, and Japan's Taishō period correspond to each other even though they were not meant to be related.
Critics of Juche charge that the "Juche dating system", as it is based on a person's birth date rather than a political era, reflects a dynastic tradition where era names are specified for ruling Emperors.