A different sort of garden

It has taken me almost two years to adjust to our new surroundings. I had been very comfortable in our 70 year old home at the foot of Mt. Fukuchi. My little cottage garden and I loved each other. It was a wonderful little garden with flowering bushes, trees, flowers, herbs and vegetables all living […]

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Risshu Already….

The days are sultry. Semi still fill the air with deafening intensity but Risshu has arrived and summer knows its days are numbered.  August 7-8 is called Risshu on the old calendar- the first day of autumn .  Last week as I was walking home from class I noticed that here and there a few […]

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The Sun has returned

We thought that we would never see an end to the rain. It started raining around the end of June and today July 30 it seems as if the leak in the heavens was fixed. Hopefully. And it didn’t just “rain” -it poured. Deluge after deluge came down. Down upon mountains that could no longer […]

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31-(MINOR HEAT) HOT WINDS BLOW

July 7th – July 11th Even though the days have already begun to shorten the heat of summer has yet to arrive. Soon the hottest periods of summer will arrive causing man and beast to slow to a crawl to retain enough energy for summer chores and activities. While rainy season is still upon us, […]

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30-(SUMMER SOLSTICE) THE CROW-DIPPER SPROUTS

Approximately July 1-July 6 -eleven days after the summer solstice. Eleven days after the summer solstice is known as Hangesho. This term is said to have originated from the word hange   半夏(はんげ meaning “half summer”. It is at this time of year when the hangesho or karasubishaku -in English:crow-dipper, begins to sprout long tendril-like […]

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72 SEASONS OVERVIEW

This is a brief overview of the names of each of the 72 micro-seasons and the season they fall into. The ancient Japanese calendar which takes much from the traditional Chinese zodiac, marks the seasonal cycle of nature by assigning a series of expressive names to the different sections of the year. We begin with […]

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While the Sun Shines

A small airplane shaped weather vain chugged along on a slate- grey kawara roof. The thick humid breeze pushed it from side to side. The little propeller on the front whirring slowly as if it also was too hot to make the effort. I squinted, watching it for a moment while I wiped the sweat […]

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Traditions

The summer sun rises early. Its filtered light shines through the rice-papered Shoji screens in the tatami mat room where we sleep. I awake gently, naturally. I usually never need an alarm clock during these months. It’s Friday morning and even though I haven’t even crawled out of my futon yet, I’m anticipating sunset when, […]

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Unzen Mountain Spa

My husband’s family loves visiting various ryokan  and spa hotels and we often pile into the family mini bus and hit the road. We had been to Mikado several years ago for New Year’s and we enjoyed it very much so, we decided to take a trip there again. It takes about 4 1/2 hours […]

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The Sound of Water

Once a year a great gathering of aquatic life descends upon our little corner of Japan. Not unique to our area alone of course. It’s different for every region. For us mid-June brings the monsoon rains that pound kawara roof tiles, flood streets and slide entire hillsides into valleys below. It’s said that there are […]

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