Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Boring. Ancient Japan had 72 microseasons
each lasting about five days. They each have wonderfully evocative names like "Spring Winds Thaw the Ice" and "The Maple and Ivy Turn Yellow." We just finished “The Bear Retreats to its Den,” and this microseason 64, falling immediately after the solstice, is called "The Common Heal-All Sprouts.
Trivia: Prunella vulgaris, aka heal-all, sprouts this time of year near the ancient Japanese capital of Nara and is depicted in figure F below:
In Japanese it is called utsubogusa ("grass-quiver") and is used in traditional medicine.
There's even a nice free app available.
The 72 Seasons app brings you photographs, illustrations, haiku poems and words based on the poetic names of the seasons, each of which depicts a subtle change in the natural world throughout the year. The app updates according to the old 72 season calendar, approximately every 5 days, allowing you enjoy an ancient yet refreshingly new way to feel the year progress, unhindered by precise dates and times.
Soon you will celebrate “Dew glistens white on grass,” or “First peach blossoms,” or “Bush warblers start singing in the mountains.” Perhaps you can even create your own local observed microsseasons.
Life In Nara Through Japan’s 72 Microseasons (Spoon & Tamago via Hyperallergic)
Thersa Matsuura was born and raised in the USA but spent the past 25 years — more than half her life — living in a small Japanese fishing village with her husband and son.
Ugh, the “dog days of summer” are upon us. It’s hot, with cities in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest reaching record-breaking temps well over 100 degrees.
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