Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Sunday, July 28, 2019

The 72 Micro Seasons of Japan

Sometimes we could use a little finer resolution than the four seasons. Late autumn is different than early autumn after all.

Below is an excerpt from an article at, which describes the Japanese reckoning of the year into 72 micro seasons. The full post may be read here.

In ancient times the Japanese divided their year into 24 periods based on classical Chinese sources. The natural world comes to life in the even more vividly named 72 subdivisions of the traditional Japanese calendar.

The traditional Japanese calendar marks the passing of the seasons and changes in the natural world through the names given to different times of year. There are 24 major divisions, or sekki, from Risshun (Beginning of spring) in early February until Daikan (Greater cold). Originally taken from Chinese sources, these are still well-known around East Asia.

The 24 divisions are each split again into three for a total of 72 that last around five days each. The names were also originally taken from China, but they did not always match up well with the local climate. In Japan, they were eventually rewritten in 1685 by the court astronomer Shibukawa Shunkai. In their present form, they offer a poetic journey through the Japanese year in which the land awakens and blooms with life and activity before returning to slumber.

1 comment:

JadeLi said...

Cool that you were aware of them. Hoping you can find the app for your iphone, as it's just perfect for understanding the details of each mini-season. It includes a haiku in Japanese but also translated, and also highlights plants, animals, etc. that are described and pictured.