As explained in my further posts the Japanese have 24 major divisions for the seasons which are then broken down further into 72 micro seasons . Seasons are changing weekly so the Japanese believe you cannot break seasons down just in to four .
We are entering Kanro or cold dew. I can definitely feel the colder air now as the cold dew sits on the leaves in the mornings .
The sub divisions for this division are
Oct 8th-12th Kogan Kitaru wild geese return. With the swallows departing we are now saying hello to the wild geese letting go of the swallows of summer and embracing the new season.
Oct 13th-17th Kiku no hana hiraku Chrysanthemums bloom. At this time of year in Japan you may find chrysanthemum petals in your food or simmered or pickled forms . The chrysanthemum is the symbol of the emperor of Japan and is the official flower of Japan.. You will see it on the imperial seal, you will find it on the Japanese passport, the 50 yen coin, and you may see the emblem at shrines like the one on the gates at the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo. Chrysanthemum growing is a much practiced hobby with people entering contests for the best blooms. It takes lots of love and care to grow the perfect flower. It reminds me of my childhood where my grandfather would win big silver cup prizes for best in show on his chrysanthemums. Often he would cut them for my mother to take home on our regular Sunday afternoon visits .
There are chrysanthemum displays and festivals going on at this time of year like at Meiji shrine and the Yanaka Kiku Matsuri . Kiku is the Japanese name for Chrysanthemum. And you can often see their blooms used in Ikebana at this time.
The flower is full of symbolism being the symbol of the sun and longevity. Colours have symbols also so be careful as white chrysanthemum are displayed at funerals and graves.
These are some beautiful chrysanthemums I took photos of at the Shinjuku Garden in Tokyo.
The final sub division is Oct 18th-22nd Kirigirisu to ni ari Crickets chirp around the door. Apparently this was a time when people used to mend their clothes ready for winter and the crickets chirping were said to keep the rhythm going while people stitched. I guess this is the concept of Wabi Sabi . Enjoying the simple things in life and finding the beauty in that old top you forgot you had but needs a bit of tlc. I think for me one of the reasons I love Japan so much is their love for the changing seasons, this is why I like to make seasonal recipes relating to Japanese culture. I hope you can maybe take a look at my recipe section and try a seasonal recipe for yourself.