Japanese 24 Seasons – Usui –

February 24, 2020 Juju Kurihara Culture, Language, Lifestyle, Vocabulary Tags: , , , , , 2 Comments

It’s raining and cold here. I though we have said the spring has started…


On the 19th of February, a new Nijushi Sekki begun, it’s Usui. It’s written as 雨, u (rain) and 水, sui (water). It’s the time when the snow changes to the rain and the plants begin to revive by sensing the spring’s steps.  


In the older time, the farmers started to prepare for ploughing the field. Also at this time of the year, Haru Ichiban (春一番/the first strong south winds) blow. The spring is still a little far away and can snow a lot in February and March. 


The typical climate this time is Sankan Shion (三寒四温), literary means "three cold, four warm”. After three cold days, it gets warmer for four days and again, another three cold days and so on. This repeats until spring. 



Things you do during Usui period.


Decorating Hina Ningyo. The Girls’ Day is on the 3rd of March but people tend to prepare when Usui starts. It is believed that if you decorate on the 19th, the daughter of the house will meet her best match.  




Kotobank: https://kotobank.jp/word/%E9%9B%A8%E6%B0%B4-34562

Japanese calendar: http://koyomigyouji.com/24-usui.htm





  1. Beth Parkhurst 3 years Reply

    Recognizing the time when seasons begin to change, not just the time when they have changed completely, makes a lot of sense.

    • Juju Kurihara 3 years

      I just wish not to lose the sensivility of noticing subtle changes in the nature.

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