Shichijuni-kou (72 Seasons) Calendar Listing
晩夏, Banka: "Late Summer"
Season No. 11: 小暑: Shousho
Climate No. 33: 鷹乃学習
Taka Sunawachi Waza Wo Nasu
"Hawk Chicks Learn"
(July 17 -July 21)
|Photo: Public Domain Images|
"Now that eyes of hawksIn dusky night are darkened
Chirping of the quails."
I've been lucky enough to catch glimpses of northern goshawks (Jpn: 大鷹 ohtaka) five times so far, mostly in Shiga Prefecture. They swoop viciously from their tree post straight down into the water, grasp their wriggling prey in sharp, strong talons and somehow haul both fish and their own girth back out to rise up into the sky again. Incredible!
In feudal days, many samurai engaged in hawking (Jpn: 鷹狩り, takagari) as a hobby and symbol of status, employing techniques learned from neighboring Korea and China. Over the centuries, the goshawk has remained a revered symbol of strength, authority and power, though hawking in Japan was restricted many times throughout the country's history.
|A trained black kite awaits a treat (Yoshino River Cruise, Tokushima).|
Critter Of The Season: カタツムリ, Katatsumuri, Snail
|A Phaeohelix cruising down a hydrangea leaf in typhoon rains (Tone, Ibaraki, 2006).|
Slugs and snails are a pest where I come from. We're told to avoid them and never handle them for the bacteria they can carry. Yet in Japan, children are picking up and playing with these slimy, oozing mollusks with reckless abandon. Here, the land snail is a gentle symbol of the rainy season, celebrated in artwork, crafts and children's songs. As for adults, at some higher-end salons and beauty clinics, snails are busy crawling over womens' faces! (I can hear all my friends back home right now going "eeeeew!"). In my life, I've handled all sorts of creepy crawlies and the idea of snails crawling over my face sounds more soothing than a round of Botox.
|"Bradybaena" (c) 2014 Genkilee, Gen, All Rights Reserved.|
mist while it still floated around us. I stood there spellbound, studying carefully as one tiny crystalline eye extended out from an indescript gelatinous mass, followed by the other. Every movement the snail made was like a meditation. May I learn to savor my own meals with such delicacy and patience!
Taste Of The Season: 素麺, Soumen, Somen Noodles
|A generous bowl of cold somen at Junsei Restaurant near Nanzenji Temple (Kyoto, 2002)|
|Famous Ibo-no-ito somen from Hyogo Prefecture.|
|Fresh spring rolls with lettuce, somen, omelette, carrot, cucumber and bean sprouts, served with Thai sweet chili sauce.|
Copyright 2014 Genkilee, Gen. All rights reserved. No part of this blog (written or photo content) may be reproduced or reprinted without the expressed permission of the author.