Every day with Sankan-Shion(three cold days and four warm days). The plums that have begun to bloom are lightly covered with snow. Its snow looks like a white muffler and even looks warm. It’s just like the expression of a frolicking child singing “Yukiya Konkon, Arareya Konkon”. Maybe it looks like it’s because I feel good. Even if you look at the same scenery, there are various ways to receive it. Even one person will be different depending on the mood of the day. January 17th is also “Omusubi Day”. This day was set up to thank the 130,000 rice balls that the volunteers who gathered at “JA Kobe Nishi” sent to the victims of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake 26 years ago. They said they made 6,000 pieces a day, desperately for three weeks. Even if you look at one rice ball, if you hear such a story, your perspective will be different.
I received a red and white Kabura(turnip) from a nearby farmer. When I asked him what kind of seedlings it was when he was planting seedlings before, he answered it was Kabura. He promised me that he would give me it when it would grow, but I have thoroughly forgot it. But now I received it. I’m grateful for him and I’m just moved for the wonderful red and white turnips. I’m wondering how to cook it now. By the way, “Kabura” is a Kansai language, which is the originator, but the standard language is “Kabu”. It’s a Kanto dialect, so to speak. A long time ago, the women of Court used to say “Okabu”, but the “O” was removed and it became “Kabu”. There are many examples of saying this, such as “Nasu(eggplant)” for “Nasubi”, “Kabocha(pumpkin) for “Nankin”, “Hasu(lotus root)” for “Renkon”, and so on.
Izu is already a spring landscape. The early blooming Kawazu cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and rape blossoms are spreading in the countryside. There are some places where it is hard to clear snow due to heavy snow, other places which has already reached spring. Thinking about this, it seems that Japan is also wide. It is a characteristic of Japan that is long from north to south and surrounded by the sea. The scenery of the four seasons is rich in variety and blessed with abundant ingredients, and it is inevitable that the Japanese born and raised there are rich in emotion. While, natural disasters such as the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake are not odd. Catastrophes that kill thousands and tens of thousands of people at once continue to occur. Ironically, this also purifies the Japanese mind.
Twenty-six years ago, the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake struck today, killing nearly 6,500 precious lives. We pray for the souls. On the day when the memory of that time revives vividly, the fruit that seems to be a cherry blossom is spreading in the blue sky. Eventually, when this fruit also falls, it sprouts and young leaves spread in the sky. I feel impermanence and hope in the life that lasts forever. Now, the “The Tale of the Heike” tells us the proverb that “Great talent shows itself early in childhood”, and this proverb has been passed down to this day, but “Sendan” here means “Ofuchi”. There is almost no scent that can be said on the Ofuchi. Sendan originally refers to Byakudan(sandalwood), which is not found in Japan, so Sendan is not found in Japan either. The illusion that the author of The Tale of the Heike thought that the Ofuchi that resembled Sendan was mistaken for Sendan and that the Sendan had a nice scent has been passed down to this day as the saying “Great talent shows itself early in childhood”. That’s right.
It’s still a little early to say Sankan-Shion(three cold and four warm), but recently cold days and warm days have repeated. Yesterday of Koshogatsu(the First Full Moon) was weather in the middle of March. Spring is definitely approaching. While the state of emergency for the new coronavirus infection was issued in various places, plum blossoms began to open in the nearby park. Every time I hear the news, I feel depressed, but at least it’s comforting. But is it okay to let go of this too? The average temperature in the world in 2020 was 14.88 degrees Celsius, which was the second highest in the history of observation after 2016. Of these, the average temperature on land is said to have reached a record high of 10.09 degrees Celsius. NASA’s research team emphasizes that “reducing greenhouse gases that cause global warming is important.” Far from being Sankan-Shion, it is every day of Ikki Ichiyu(Now glad, Now sad).
Lady’s grass is a flower known as Christmas rose, meaning that it is a flower like a lady. As the name suggests, it begins to bloom at Christmas time, and the appearance of it blooming vigorously even in the midwinter snow is like a lady. It was surprisingly old that it was introduced to Japan, and it is said that it was in the late Edo period. Initially, it seems that it was introduced as a medicinal plant, and it was secretly enjoyed by some tea people under the names of “Yukiokoshi” and “Kanshakuyaku”. The original scientific name is “Hellebore”, and in Greek it means “you die when you eat.” In fact, the roots and stems of Christmas roses are extremely poisonous, and the juice extracted from them was applied to the tip of the arrow and used when hunting animals such as deer and foxes, and was also used in warfare. It is also a flower that is likened to “Beautiful flowers are poisonous.”
Robai(Japanese allspice) is in full bloom now. The flowers bloom from December to February, as it is said to have been named after the flowers that bloom in the month of the Ro-month (December of the lunar calendar). It really blooms in the middle of winter. The Robai, which gently snuggles up to you in the cold winter and blooms yellow flowers and gives off a sweet scent like hot water, has long been used in Japanese poems and themes. Even in English, it is called Winter Sweet. Like plums, it is a plant of the Rosaceae family, but it is quite distant. Plum is the pioneering flower of spring, and the pioneering flower of that plum is Robai. Soon, you will touch the plum blossoms, and this spring will finally come.
When following the path while watching the daffodils in Izu Tsumekizaki, I hear a whistling sound. I found a white lighthouse over there. This is Tsumekizaki Lighthouse. The cold sea breeze just then hits the lighthouse and makes a whistling sound. The azure sea and the pure white lighthouse. This looks just like a picture scroll. It is said that there are more than 3,000 such lighthouses in Japan, an island country. There used to be a movie called “Times of Joy and Sorrow”, and all the lighthouses scattered around Japan left an impression on me. This lighthouse is also replacing GPS with the passage of time, and many lighthouses are destined to be demolished after their role. Indeed, the world is impermanent.
The New Year has passed in no time. Until a while ago, the 15th was the day of the Seijin-shiki(the coming-of-age ceremony), but since 2000, the day of the Seikin-shiki was set on the second Monday of January, and the Ko-Shogatsu(the first full moon) is also changing to this day. This day is also the day when the Okagami(the rice cake like the mirror) is opened, and the Okagami that was displayed on New Year’s Day is crushed into small pieces and made into the final ozoni or put in Zenzai to close the New Year’s Day. These old traditions are disappearing, especially in urban areas, and some people throw them away, thinking that the packed Okagami are just decorations.
It is a three-day holiday with the Seijin-shiki(the coming-of-age ceremony), Tokaebisu, and the Ko-Shogatsu(the First Full Moon Festival). It’s a great thing, but it’s a three-day holiday that we often can’t be happy to let go. Corona infections are more spreading, and screams can be heard from snowy regions in record-breaking heavy snowfalls. Especially, I feel very sorry for young people who are new adults. The university they enrolled in has only distance classes, and the Seijin-shiki is not really happy, and there are too many situations in which they cannot fly toward their future. Only 12% of new adults answered “yes” to the questionnaire “Do you have any hope for the future?” I think it is important not only to blame the younger generation for the cause of corona infection, but also to pay close attention to the society as a whole and the political leaders who created such a situation.