The Japanese Almanac (Nijushi Sekki)

The Japanese Almanac (Nijushi Sekki)

Posted by Taro Kobayashi on 17th Nov 2010

Japanese almanac Nijushi-sekki

The Japanese almanac divides the year into 24 season-like periods, each lasting about two weeks.

These periods are markers of significant celestial events (such as equinoxes and solstices), weather cycles (such as monsoons) and ecological patterns (such as migrations and hibernations).

To this day the beginning of each 24 “season” is observed and marked on most Japanese calendars.

February 4 – Risshun (立春): Beginning of Spring

February 18 – Usui (雨水): Rain Water

March 5 – Keichitsu (啓蟄): Awakening of Insects (from hibernation)

March 20 – Shunbun (春分): Vernal Equinox

April 4 – Seimei (清明): Pure and Bright (skies)

April 20 – Kokuu (穀雨): Grain Rain

May 5 – Rikka (立夏): Beginning of Summer

May 21 – Shōman (小満): Little Full (new growth)

June 5 – Bōshu (芒種): Seed in Husk

June 21 – Geshi (夏至): Summer Solstice

July 7 – Shōsho (小暑): Small Heat

July 23 – Taisho (大暑): Big Heat

August 7 – Risshū (立秋): Beginning of Autumn

August 23 – Shosho (処暑): Limit of Heat

September 7 – Hakuro (白露): White Dew

September 23 – Shūbun (秋分): Autumnal Equinox

October 8 – Kanro (寒露): Cold Dew

October 23 – Sōkō (霜降): Descent of Frost

November 7 – Rittō (立冬): Beginning of Winter

November 22 – Shōsetsu (小雪): Small Snow

December 7 – Taisetsu (大雪): Big Snow

December 22 – Tōji (冬至): Winter Solstice

January 5 – Shōkan (小寒): Small Cold

January 20 – Daikan (大寒): Big Cold