A little cuckoo to tell the arrival of summer 2015/05/17

I have just heard the sound of a little cuckoo for the first time in this year. I live in suburbs of Tokyo and it is always the middle of May when I notice the first sound of that bird.


A little cuckoo has been popular among Japanese from old days and there are many songs which praise a beautiful melody of the bird in the oldest anthology, 「Manyoshu」, which was published in 8th century.


A popular haiku in Edo era raised a green leave, a little cuckoo and a bonito as big three representing early summer. People were tensed not to miss the first sound of the bird and rushed to take the first bonito of the season. The first bonito was very expensive especially for ordinary people however they considered it smart to taste the seasonal fish sooner than others and were willing to try too hard.


There are four obviously different seasons in Japan and people are fond of enjoying each season. People tend to value a border of seasons when people cherish a leaving season and at the same tome welcome an arrival of new season.


In Japan there are more than 100,000 ruins of Jomon era which last from around 15,000 years ago to 3000 years ago. From those ruins it has revealed clearly that people of Jomon era enjoyed fresh seasonal foods.

It is a long tradition in Japan to enjoy seasonal changes fully and to taste various fresh seasonal sea foods and wild vegetables.

075 a little cuckoo