“saijiki” glossary of seasonal terms 2018/10/03

There is a hidden long best seller in Japan. It is called as “saijiki” which contains around 5000 seasonal terms.

It is a kind of glossary and the oldest one was written in 1349. Since then, it has been repeatedly reviewed and revised until today.

It contains various seasonal terms such as flowers, trees, animals, birds, foods, drinks, events, clothes, tools and others which remind readers of each season with respective scenery.

It is early October today and followings are some representative terms in “ saijiki” for mid autumn.

Hatsumomiji: First yellow leaf,

Matsutake: a kind of mushroom which is fragrant and delicious but available only in autumn.

Shinnmai : newly harvested rice which represents ample harvests in autumn.

Shinnshu: newly brewed Japanese sake from above new rice.

Shrike: popular migratory bird which arrives in autumn.

Persimmon fruit: a typical autumn fruit.


Saijiki contains those words and also contains all history of Japanese poem and Haiku, together with heartfelt feelings of poets and readers.

Most Japanese can remind many popular poem and Haiku from such seasonal term and can imagine seasonal scenery.


Saijiki has made great contribution to build and maintain common sense and common understanding of Japanese culture among Japanese,. And at the same time, common understanding of Japanese culture among Japanese has been the basic power to keep saijiki as an extra ordinal long seller among Japanese.