A year of nature, food and tradition seen through the ancient Japanese calendar.
May I ask you how many seasons are there in a year? Four? Hardly. The answer is 72. According to KOYOMI, an ancient Japanese calendar, a year has 24 seasons and each in turn sub-divided into three, making up a total of 72 microseasons.
Each of these microseasons are named poetically - Beginning with “Spring Winds Thaw the Ice”, “Grass Sprouts, Trees Bud”, “Spring Winds Thaw the Ice”, “The First Peach Blossoms”, “Damp Earth Humid Heat”, “The Maple and the Ivy Turn Yellow” and culminating with “The First Cherry Blossoms”.
Now you can enjoy the beauty of ancient Japanese sensibility on you smart phone! the “Beautiful Living Research Lab” (“Utsukushii Kurashikata Institute” in Japanese) project has just translated an app called 72 Seasons into English and it's available on app store for free. It is synched with the 72 season calendar with an update at about every 5 days and notify you (with your permission, of course).
About the 24 and 72 season calendars.
Each update of the 72 Seasons comes with all things related to the season - seasonal word, Haiku poem, food, fish, vegetable, star, events and activity, all accompanied by a beautiful illustration or photograph.
So how did the concept of 72 microseasons come about? The app developer, Utsukushii Kurashikata Institute, explains:
"The path of the sun as seen from Earth creates a zodiac, 360 degrees divided into 24 15-degree sections, each one given a name to depict the seasonal changes through the year… And beyond that, each season of the 24 season calendar was then divided again into three more, to create the 72 season calendar. Each of these 72 seasons lasts just five days or so, and the names of each season beautifully depict the tiny, delicate changes in nature that occur around us, year in year out."
The English version of this app is free and is available from the following links.
72 Seasons for iOS (iPad and iPhone versions)
72 Seasons for Android
About “Utsukushii Kurashikata Institute”
Established in November 2010 by Dentsu and Heibonsha, the “Beautiful Living Research Lab” (“Utsukushii Kurashikata Institute” in Japanese) project proposes a beautiful lifestyle by focusing on how people in Japan have been living their daily lives from time immemorial, and on how this knowhow has been incorporated into modern-day life.