Why Japanese autumn has seasonal unique expressions?
In Japan, September to November is generally the autumn season. Do you know there are unique expressions to modify this special season?
Waku WakuPublished on 18 Sep 2020, 12:00
"Autumn of sports"
Autumn is the season with comfortable climate which is neither too hot nor too cold. Therefore, it is said that autumn is the best season for sports.
However, there is a particular reason why it is called "autumn of sports". It's because Tokyo Olympic Games was held in 1964.
The opening ceremony of the Olympics in 1964 was taken place on October 10th. And in commemoration of this ceremony, 10th of Oct was designated as "Health and Sports day" and become a national holiday (From the year 2000, it has replaced with the second week of October).
From 2020, the name has been changed to "Sports Day", but the purpose of "getting familiar with sports and cultivating a healthy mind and body" remains the same.
"Autumn of appetite"
For about three month from September to November is the harvesting season in Japan.
Many foods such as vegetables, fruits, mushrooms or seafood are in season. And the most important rice which is the staple food for Japanese people, is also harvested. For these reasons, autumn is also expressed as "fruitful autumn" or "autumn of harvesting".
Before autumn, Japan has summer. Usually, people lose their appetite in the summer because of the heat and humidity. But as soon as the cooler autumn comes, you see a lot of seasonal foods are harvested. Then, your appetite will get back naturally, right? This sometimes causes to gain weight!
This is the reason why it is called "Autumn of appetite". Autumn is the best season for eating.
"Autumn of arts"
It is said that comfortable season enriches people's heart and mind, and this makes them to experience arts naturally.
The leaves starts to change into yellow or orange and turns to be autumn foliage. Also fruits or vegetables becomes ripen and be ready to be harvested. In these colorful seasonal changes, you may want to preserve them in photos or paintings.
Besides, there are a lot of art events and exhibitions in this season. Music concerts by foreign musicians tend to be held in autumn too. Classical music, for example, wooden instruments do not resonate in humid environments, so hot and humid Japanese summer is avoided. In case of rock concerts, the musician are not usually big fans of Japanese summer too.
Anyways, you will see various genres of arts in "Autumn of art".
"Autumn of reading"
It is said to be good way to spend for reading in the long autumn evenings.
It's originally an influence of Chinese poetry. A Chinese poet "Han Yu" wrote "Touka youyaku shitashimu beku" (it is a good time to lighten up a lantern and read a book). Han Yu read this poem in order to convey the importance of reading to his son, however the idea was widely spread afterwords.
Nowadays, every year from October 27th, the event called "Reading Week" is held for two weeks in Japan. This is for promoting reading at various places.
Autumn is a pleasant time for many things. With this easy-to-spend autumn in Japan, everything becomes active and positive. By all means, please enjoy the autumn of Japan in your favorite way!
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