The Heart of Japan

Japanese Culture and The Insects

"How still it is here--Stinging into the stones, The locusts' trill" by Basho Matsuo who was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan, seems to be the shortest poem in the world. The strong sunshine, the shadows of fences and lanterns, and the voices of countless cicadas together represent summer in Japan.

The voices that stand out conspicuously echoes. Minminzemi cicada screams "Minmin" in the morning when the sun is strong, Higurashi cicada who sounds sad with "Kanakanakana" in the evening, and Tsukutsukuboushi cicada in late autumn "Tsukutsukuboshi, Suwichoon". The cicada voices are associated with the amount of light in summer and the image of the Japanese season and time.

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Autumn Leaves in Japan

In the traditional crafts in Japan, the four seasons are the precious theme.

In the Kanji character, "hunting" means hunting or gathering, and people are familiar with it like "strawberry hunting" and "mushroom hunting". However, simply viewing and appreciating the autumn leaves is also called "autumn leaves hunting" because people go into the mountains for viewing the autumn leaves which is similar to the hunting.

Japanese people used to enjoy autumn leaves by visiting mountains, but after the Heian period, people started enjoying them by planting trees in their gardens. The autumn leaves are not only beautiful, but also it influences the spiritual chords in connection with the impermanence of the coming lonely winter.

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Harvest Moon - Elegant Moon Event in Japan -

The lunisolar calendar has been used in East Asia under the influence of China. Since it was changed to the Gregorian calendar in 1872 in Japan, the lunar-solar calendar is called "lunar calendar" and although the old calendar is rarely used today, it still remains as an annual event.

One of them is August 15 in the old calendar. In various parts of East Asia, there is a custom of appreciating the moon on this day, although it also means ancestor worship or harvest festival. In China, there is a custom of eating geppei in chushusetsu, but in Japan, it is called "harvest moon" and the custom of displaying Japanese pampas grass and offering dumplings was established in the late Edo period. August 15th in the old calendar in Japan is the day of full moon which is from September to October in the Gregorian calendar. 

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