The cicadas cry

Fuden-An: Leaves from a Tea-Journal

The cicadas cry

KOBORI Sojitsu (the 13th Grand Master of the Enshu Sado School )

I think most people in my generation think of autumn when they think of September. In reality, due to the warmer climate lately, the late summer heat remains brutal. The imagination people have, especially the Japanese who have become accustomed to the changes of the four seasons, plays an important part in this however. Whether you think it is still hot or you think the morning and evening breeze has begun to cool somewhat, depends on how you decide to look at it.

Last month, I received many letters from people wishing to honour my late father. These letters contained stories about my father from colleagues of his whom I had not known, many of which I had never heard before, and I could imagine my father’s facial expression in these various situations. I hope there will be an opportunity where I can share these stories with more people on another occasion.

Much has changed in the first half of this year since March 11th. Time seems to have passed quickly with all the disaster, nuclear and power related problems tormenting Japan. Furthermore, we Japanese have gone beyond being angry and can only feel helpless about the nonresponsive and impotent manner with which the government and congress have dealt with the slow recovery and support of the disaster hit region. We hope to see someone with inspiring leadership come into the picture.

This was a summer which you might have thought would have been very hot considering the efforts made to save electricity, but for some reason unbeknownst to me, the screaming sound of the cicadas seemed to come late this year. It takes 6 to 7 years for a cicada larva to become an adult, and if it feels the earth heating up, it shows it rises to the surface. I hear that the cicadas came out late because the temperature of the earth was cool this spring.

The talk of climate change and the use of air-conditioning and other electronic devices may have had the effect of numbing our human physical senses. Compared to us, the animals and insects live in nature, experience no change and remain the same.

Is it just me but now that it is finally August, whenever I hear the cicadas cry in my garden or in nearby parks, I am reminded of how weak man is at resisting the influence of information and fashion.