Friday 16 December 2016

the bear retreats to his den

Via Spoon & Tamago with reinforcements courtesy of Hyperallergic, we’re treated to the traditional Japanese concept of the microseason, that divides the cross-quarter year into smaller, poetic subdivisions (seventy-two ko) that marches on in segments of four or five days like a natural calendar.
With wonderful smoothing descriptive names like “first peach blossoms,” “rainbows begin to appear after a shower” or “eastern wind melts the ice,” these gentle transitions (this is when the bear starts its long winter’s nap and next week is when the salmon swim upstream) are a much nicer and more accessible yearly planner, at least for those who get to enjoy at minimum the basic four seasons and can find nuance in between. Both links above feature a beautifully crafted application for one’s mobile device that helps one keep up with the sekki and ko and includes explanation of the symbolism drawing from other traditions and where one might journey to see the phenomenon that marks the season—or imagine one’s native equivalent and rhythm.