Ewok chronicles: capturing the charm of Japan’s 72 microseasons

Do you love observing the seasons subtly change? Japan’s 72 microseasons offer a captivating lens into the ever-changing natural world, dividing the year into moments of profound transformation, each lasting just five days.

We are ending the microseason of “Chrysanthemums Bloom” (菊花開 – Kiku no hana hiraku). The Japanese phrase “Kiku no hana hiraku” translates to “The flower of listening opens”. Isn’t that cool?

In honor of “Chrysanthemums Bloom”, I ventured into the outdoors with my 8-bit Ewok crafted lovingly by my niece with Perler beads. This pixelated marvel, reminiscent of the iconic 8-bit Ewoks from the iOS video game Tiny Death Star, found solace amidst the blooming chrysanthemums.

8-bit Ewok made from Perler beads sits inside a field of yellow chrysanthemums

Ewoks, with their affinity for nature, seemed right at home amidst the blossoms. As other microseasons arrive, I look forward to capturing more moments with my 8-bit companion, celebrating the essence of each season.

In just a day, we transition to “Crickets Chirp Around the Door” (蟋蟀在戸 – Kirigirisu to ni ari), which will prove challenging to capture, since seeing crickets are a rarity in my surroundings. But “First Frost” on October 23-27 might prove to be interesting.

Here’s a glimpse of the microseason schedule for the rest of 2023:

Date rangeMicroseason nameOriginal JapaneseJapanese transliterated
October 13–17Chrysanthemums bloom菊花開Kiku no hana hiraku
October 18–22Crickets chirp around the door蟋蟀在戸Kirigirisu to ni ari
October 23–27First frost霜始降Shimo hajimete furu
October 28–November 1Light rains sometimes fall霎時施Kosame tokidoki furu
November 2–6Maple leaves and ivy turn yellow楓蔦黄Momiji tsuta kibamu
November 7–11Camellias bloom山茶始開Tsubaki hajimete hiraku
November 12–16Land starts to freeze地始凍Chi hajimete kōru
November 17–21Daffodils bloom金盞香Kinsenka saku
November 22–26Rainbows hide虹蔵不見Niji kakurete miezu
November 27–December 1North wind blows the leaves from the trees朔風払葉Kitakaze konoha o harau
December 2–6Tachibana citrus tree leaves start to turn yellow橘始黄Tachibana hajimete kibamu
December 7–11Cold sets in, winter begins閉塞成冬Sora samuku fuyu to naru
December 12–16Bears start hibernating in their dens熊蟄穴Kuma ana ni komoru
December 17–21Salmons gather and swim upstream鱖魚群Sake no uo muragaru
December 22–26Self-heal sprouts乃東生Natsukarekusa shōzu
December 27–31Deer shed antlers麋角解Sawashika no tsuno otsuru

If you participate in following the microseasons, please reply on any of these platforms: contact form, BlueSky, Mastodon, Threads, or Substack.

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