Japan’s 72 Micro Seasons Japans

Japan’s appreciation of nature runs deep, with a mindful connection to the natural world permeating everyday life. Visit Japan and you can’t help but notice a deep-rooted reverence for the shifting seasons and the transient treasures they bring. It’s perhaps no wonder, then, that rather than relying on four basic seasons, the traditional Japanese calendar marks the rhythm of the year with 24 sekki, or sub-seasons, and an incredible 72 ko, micro-seasons.

Leaning heavily on the Chinese almanac, Japan’s poetic year starts with risshun, the ‘birth of spring’ in early February and ends with daikan, or ‘greater cold’ in late January. With a level of precision far beyond anything we can imagine, the sub-seasons between are then divided into three micro-seasons, observing subtle shifts in the natural world with evocative names such as ‘fish emerge from the ice’, ‘wild geese return’ and ‘mist starts to linger’. Encouraging a close observation of the passing months, each ko lasts approximately five days, serving as a poetic, mindful journey through Japan’s ever-changing landscape.

For a full list of Japan’s 72 seasons, click here.

Photo by Akira Deng on Unsplash

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