- Mutsuki or "social month / month of affection" - the time that family and friends join to celebrate the New Year
- Kisaragi or "put on more clothes against the cold" - the coldest season of the year
- Yayoi or "renewed growth" - as plants start growing in this season.
- Uzuki or "month of the U-flowers (deutzia)"
- Satsuki or "month of planting rice shoots"
- Minazuki or "the waterless month" - possibly corrupted for "full-water month"
- Fuzuki (Fumizuki) or "the month in which the rice ears swell (month for writing poetry)
- Hazuki or "month of falling leaves"
- Nagatsuki or "month of long nights" - famous for the beautiful autumn moon.
- Kannazuki or "godless month" - as the gods from all over Japan are said to travel to the Izumo shrine and so are away from home
- Shimotsuki or "month of frost"
- Shiwasu or "month of busy priests" - who run around all day for religious services as the year draws to an end.
April 27, 2011
Japanese Customs: Names of the months
Every first-year student of Japanese knows the names of the months: ichi-gatsu, ni-gatsu, san-gatsu etc... it could not be simpler, just the counters from one to twelve plus "month." It is also a bit boring. Happily, there is a more poetic way of naming the months in Japan - but less easy to remember: