Thanks to the internet, I know what the weather in Kyoto is like today. I can also follow blogs, friends on Facebook, and websites in both English and Japanese to see photos of how nice and green it has become in Kyoto. And the weather has been jumping back and forth between natsu and haru in the last few weeks causing confusion to those who need to deal with it.
In America, we often think of Memorial Day as the beginning of natsu. There used to be rituals that matched the kisetsu. Not so much anymore. In Japan, I think it is still important. Things will come out of the closet. The senpūki, of course. Perhaps a katoributa if one is fond of the old ways. The zabuton may be switched out for one of rush. Even in the kitchen, there may be different plats and bowls used. Glass is nice in the summer. The illusion of coolness is just as important as real cooling which these days is provided by competent AC.
The fūrin will also come out of the closet. And one must be careful with pronunciation here. A fūrin is a wind chime, but furin is adultery. Oops.
And of course there is the gamut of summer food which merits its own post. We see some of it in Hawaii but here in New England I’m lucky if I see any of it at all. Yesterday, my grandchildren in California were eating green tea ice cream with mochi. The world is indeed getting smaller.
- natsu – 夏 summer
- haru – 春 spring
- kisetsu – 季節 season
- senpūki – 扇風機 electric fan. There are other words used for handheld fans depending on the type. I may get into that later.
- katoributa – 蚊取り豚 a ceramic pig that holds mosquito coils
- zabuton – 座布団 floor cushion
- fūrin – 風鈴 wind chime
- furin – 不倫 adultery