FALL / 春
|和風月名||七月 ＝ 文月||八月 ＝ 葉月||九月 ＝ 長月|
|別名||孟秋、新秋、涼月、棚機月 立秋、処暑||仲秋、清秋、竹春、月見月 白露、秋分||季秋、菊月、暮秋、紅葉月 寒露、霜降|
7th MONTH: Fuzuki (Fumizuki) / 文月
MEANING: Month of spreading culture & literature
PERIOD OF DURATION: 8/8〜8/23
There are 2 accepted ways to pronounce this month, Fuzuki and Fumizuki. It is said that the origin of this name comes from either the term “fumihiroge-zuki” or “fumihiraki-zuki” (文披月), which share the same meaning. These two terms come from the line “此の月7日、七夕にかすとて、文どもをひらく故に、文ひろげ月といふを略せり”, which is found in poetic line from book of songs called “Ogisho” (奥義抄) dating back to the Heian period (794-1185). This line speaks about how the 7th month is the time to spread culture & literature, for it is the month when Tanabata is recognized, and when culture/literature is shared by many.
There are other theories as well, but related to the phonetic of Fuzuki, and dating centuries later in the Edo period. One example, is the word “fufumizuki” or “fukumizuki (含月), which is said to come from farmers and refers to the process of spreading out the ears of the rice plants as harvesting time nears. Another example is “fuzuki” (親月), which implies the 7th month being the time people go to their deceased parents’ graves to honor and take care of their resting grounds”, is said to by the origin. This one also has a different kanji in the front (親), which means “parents”.
In the end, the poem regarding celebrating Tanabata and the spread of culture & literature found in Ogisho is believed to have been the true source by many.
- Mōshū (孟秋): The beginning of Fall season
- Shinshū (新秋): The beginning of the Fall season
- Ryōgetsu (涼月): As the Summer heat dies down, cool breezes start to come
- Tanabata Zuki (七夕月): A special occasion of observing the Tanabata celebration (Star Festival). Originally falls on the 7th day of the 7th month, now designated to the 8th month according to the new calendar. There are other fabled meanings associated with this.
- Risshū: Number 13 of the 24 key periods found on the Nijūyon Sekki (二十四節気), the change in the seasons from summer to fall will take place in 15 allotted days.
- Shosho: Also read as Hatsuaki, this month marks the time when Fall begins.
8TH MONTH: Hazuki / 葉月
MEANING: Month when the red leaves fall
PERIOD OF DURATION: 9/7〜9/23
Looking into the naming convention of the label “Hazuki,” it gives a deep implication of how nature changes during Fall. There is a phrace “ha-ochi zuki” (葉落ち月), which refers to the month when there is an abundance of red & yellow leaves, along with falling leaves after the start of the Fall season. Shortened, we get the word “Hazuki”.
There are several other explanations regarding this name as well. However, these feel a little too “forced”, and not truly related to the origin of the name. Thus it is best not to go over them.
- Chūshō (仲秋): Midpoint of Fall
- Seishū (清秋): Period of Fall when the air feels clean and pure
- Chikushun (竹春): Bamboo start to sprout new foliage
- Tsukimi Zuki (月見月): Month where the sky gets very clear and the moonlight is much more vibrant
- Hakuro (白露): Period when the environment truly feels like Fall
- Shūbun: Known as the Autumnal equinox, this is one of 24 key periods found on the Nijūyon Sekki (二十四節気). During the 9th month, length of day to night becomes about the same due to less sunlight.
9TH MONTH: Naga Tsuki / 長月
MEANING: Month of the long nights
PERIOD OF DURATION: 10/8〜10/23
This naming convention comes from the term “yonaga tsuki” (夜長月), which means “month when the nights are long”. This is directly related to the seasonal change and the position of the earth in relations to the sun. As the daylight becomes less, it appears as if the night is longer.
There are 2 other theories, both related to rice stalks. The 1st is in regards to the 8th month being the time to harvest rice stalks. The word “inekarizuki” (稲刈月) is said to the root word, then shortened (along with a sound change) to get “naga tsuki”. The 2nd refers to rice stalks growing very long in the 8th month. The word for this is “honagazuki” (穂長月), then shortened to “naga tsuki”.
- Kishū (季秋): Ending month of Fall
- Kikuzuki (菊月): Month when the chrysanthemums are in bloom
- Boshū (暮秋): The end of Fall is around the corner
- Momiji Zuki (紅葉月): As the ending of Fall is near, the color of leaves change to yellow and red colors.
- Kanro (寒露): Although the air is cold and the day feels shorter, the moon is more visible, and the air feels more like Fall
- Sōkō (霜降): Frost begins to come especially in the north and around the mountains
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