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  4. Kokoro Saijiki: A Year of Japan


A saijiki is a traditional Japanese dictionary of haiku in which poems are arranged not alphabetically or by subject, but rather by seasons. Kokoro Saijiki puts a twist on the traditional saijiki format, providing readers with explanations of important events, natural occurrences, and other culturally relevant aspects to each month of the year. Readers can find inner peace and tranquility by reading about occurrences such as the first snow, the blooming of spring flowers, the Tanabata festival of the stars, and autumn moon-viewing parties, as well as get more in touch with nature and rhythms of the seasons. Accompanied by breathtaking illustrations by illustrator Tsurutarou Kataoka, Kokoro Saijiki is the perfect book for Japan enthusiasts and those looking for an introspective and relaxing read alike. 


January - The first sunrise of the New Year: New Year celebrations and decorations

February - The first day of spring: The first snow, Setsubun, Hatsu Uma,

March – Peach Blossoms: March 3rd Celebrations, insects awaken, blooming of the winter daphne

April – The Goddess of Spring Appears: cherry blossom viewing, flower festivals, azaleas and wisteria

May – Harvesting of Medicinal Herbs: Boy’s Day Celebration, bathing with iris stalks, oak leaf-wrapped mochi, cakes wrapped in bamboo leaves

June – Harvest Prayers: the first awns, planting fields, June rain, blooming of the chameleon plant

July – Picking Flowers at Dawn: Tanabata Festival of the Stars, fireflies, scattering cogon grass

August – The O-Bon God: Chinese lantern plants, the first day of August, the first day of autumn

September – Gold Moon, Silver Moon: the chrysanthemum festival, a full moon, naming the moon

October – Gifts from the Earth: matsutake mushrooms, sweetfish swimming downstream, abundant harvests

November – the Kumebe Dances: viewing autumn leaves, the goddess of fall, the 3-5-7 celebration

December – Awaiting Spring: Winter Solstice, yuzu baths, New Year’s Eve, year-end cleaning

About the Author

Yumi Yoshimoto

Born in Tokyo, Yoshimoto is a poet and essayist who has penned numerous personal-growth titles. In addition to her work as an author, Yoshimoto frequently holds seminars centered around the theme of “making your soul happy.”

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