Names in this site follow the Japanese custom of family name first.

April 25, 2011

Kyoto Files: Aburaderi

Aburaderi,"Burning hot," is a term for the sultry weather in mid-summer, which is hot and steamy, and when there are low clouds with no direct sunlight and no wind."Abura" is grease and indicates the greasy sweat this weather causes, "teri" indicates the hot temperature. It is weather like in a sauna. This term is also a kigo in haiku. It is especially indicative of the summer weather in Kyoto.

Unfortunately, traditionally the inhabitants of Kyoto are very busy in summer. There is the Gion Festival with its various observances in July, followed at the end of the month by the Sennichi-mode to Mt Atago. Then in July Kyoto people observe Manto-e and Rokudo-mairi, welcoming the souls of the ancestors back to earth, and again sending them off with the Bon fires on August 16. And that is a again followed by Jizo-bon, the Bon festival for children, after the twentieth of August. So there is no time at all to escape the city and its sultry heat...

This haiku by Aoki Getsuto is about Osaka rather than Kyoto:

Osaka ya | hokori no naka no | aburaderi
Osaka -
steamy hot
in the dust