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Seasons and culture of Japan

The rainy season will soon arrive

In Japan, May and June are months when the cool spring weather slowly gets warmer, new green leaves sprout on trees, and various insects reappear.  Although the really hot and humid days have not yet arrived, 05 May is called 立夏 (Rikka), which means the start of summer.  Rikka is one of the twenty-four divisions of Japan's traditional calendar, which are called 節気 (Sekki).  The ancient nature-based way of measuring time was brought over to olden-days Japan from China.  Farmers would use it to plan their agricultural activities as the weather and seasons slowly changed.  Also, each of the 24 Sekki are subdivided into three parts, each of which last for about five days.  So, for example, in the case of Rikka, 05~09 May is: 蛙始鳴 (Kawazu hajimete naku) -- Frogs start singing; 10~14 May is: 蚯蚓出 (Mimizu izuru) -- Worms surface; and 15~20 May is: 竹笋生 (Take-no-ko shōzu) -- Bamboo shoots sprout.  So, as you can see, the old calendar divided-up the seasons of the year into a total of seventy-two parts, based on close observation of the slight changes in weather, plants, and animals.  It was used to stay in-tune with seasonal shifts, so farmers would know when to plant seeds, when would the rains come, when should the crops be brought in, etc. -- and being aware of nature's movements could mean the difference between a plentiful or barren harvest.  Although it does not apply so much to modern urban life, following the Japanese traditional calendar is a nice & alternative way to observe the flow of time.  Meanwhile, as May comes to a close, the rainy season will soon arrive in Yokosuka (see link below). 

written by Goodfield 



The rainy season is called TSUYU (梅雨)|Off Base Housing Yokosuka | IINO REAL ESTATE is for rental housing in Yokosuka Japan...Civilian, Military house agency

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