July (shichigatsu)

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July (shichigatsu)

***** Location: Japan. Worldwide
***** Season: Late Summer
***** Category: Season


Haiku shichigatsu in the Edo period relates to the climate of present-day August,
but some festivals are dated in our present-day July.

. . Names of Japanese months and their meanings . .


July---- Standing the Hot Weather

 The rainy season being over, the real hot summer comes. July is the last part of summer on the calendar, but in fact, it is the hottest month in the year. Heated by the scorching sun and boiled by the water vapor of the air, all the things under the sun, animals and the plants, the human beings as well, must bear this hot weather breathing hard. However, the Japanese know well that this hot weather will promise the harvest in autumn, because they have lived in harmony with nature, not fighting against it.

 The people have not only put up with heat in a passive way, grasping for breath, but also they have made ways for standing it by using their brains. Their ideas could be seen in such seasonal words as nouryou (enjoying the cool of the evening), hashii (sitting on the outdoor bench for getting cool), uchimizu (sprinkling water outside the house), and furin (a wind bell).

These ideas have been developted to the culture deeply related to the spirit of the Japanese. As for food, I think that the seasonal words like hiyayakko (tofu served cold), arai (slices of raw fish washed in cold water),and mizugai (sliced seaear served in cold water) are attained to the level of art by the wisdom for living. Don't you think so?

And the Japanese feel poetical sentiment on even such a negative word, meshi-sueru (cooked rice going bad), and use it as a seasonal word.

 We feel joy and relief from yudachi (a summer afternoon shower), kaminari (thunder), niji (rainbow), shimizu (spring water), shitatari (a drop), and at the same time we recognize the beauty in the seasonal words like kumo no mine (gigantic columns of clouds), enten (heat of the sun) and have positively made a haiku on the subject of the above.

The haiku of July is characterised by many seasonal words on sickness and health, such as asemo (prickly heat), mizumushi (athlete's foot), kakke (beriberi), shokiatari (suffer from the heat), natsuyase (losing weight in summer), nebie (a cold caught in spleep), natukaze (a cold caught in summer), sekiri (dysentery), nisshabyo (sunstroke), kakuran (cholera nostras) and so on.

 Nowadays the Japanese prefer to live in the room airtight by air conditioner and have only a few chances to contact with nature, don't they? I think that we should place value on the sturdiness ,the wisdom, and the sense of beauty of the old people ,who have spent their life with nature, which have been heighten to the refined culture.

Inahata Teiko
.. kyoshi 12month/

Worldwide use

Southern Hemisphere, Tropics ...
Adjustments for each region must be made.

Calendar reference kigo

Things found on the way

Google for JULY photos


shichigatsu ya shiro shoosoku no tohaisai

july is here !
mountain climbing ceremony
in white robes

大類 匡光 Masateru Ohrui

Click for more photos
Ceremony of Climbing Mt. Nantai

WKD: Climbing Mt. Nantai Ceremony

Related words

***** Calendar reference kigo

. . . . SUMMER
the complete SAIJIKI





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