Sounds of Japanese summer
Hi. I’m Yukako who lives in the northern part of Europe, and teaches and tells people about Japanese traditional culture such as tea ceremony, kimono, etc. offline and online.
Japan is a place where people enjoy four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter. Each season has allure. Seasons are deeply connected to the nature, the culture, etc. The summer, especially, is the time everything gets more active and louder! So, I would like to introduce “what summer is like in Japan” to you.
What Japanese summer means is a cicada. It’s called “semi” in Japanese. This season you can find a lot of cicadas in Japan, and they are really loud, so you even can’t sleep at night!! However, we have one famous haiku created by Basho Matsuo, which is “Shizukesaya iwani shimiiru semi no koe”. That means “In a quiet moment. A chorus of cicadas sinks into rocks”. He composed this poem when entering a mountain which is a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle. It describes an interesting contrast between a quietness and a chorus of cicadas.
It is really humid and hot in summer time of Japan. Thanks to the global warming, I feel it’s even getting hotter these days. However, people in Japan also want to enjoy a life even in such a heat, so we hang a wind chime at the window and listen to “cool sounds” to get chilled. It’s one of the wisdoms from the old times to get comfort in a hot summer.
How did you find Japanese summer? There is more, so please stay tuned!