Monday, September 10, 2018

Recalling the sounds of summer .......

Hello, long time, no see!  With the arrival of September, it has gotten a little cooler.  How was your summer or winter?  Much of the northern hemisphere seems to have experienced a record scorching summer.  

“It never rains but it pours.” is so true recently. Japan has been hit by several destructive weather-related disasters and earthquakes one after another in a few months. In my previous post, I wrote about torrential rains that killed more than 220 people with landslides and the deadliest floods in more than 30 year.  Then came deadly heat wave with little rain except the thunder storms with lightening. At the hard-hit areas, people worked hard sweltering in the sizzling sun without tap water for long after the devastation. Temperatures were 2 to 3 degrees C above normal for many cities.  

As to the super typhoon #21 last Tuesday, the peak time of high tide caused the highest storm tide on record to strike seafront facilities including KIX. The forecast wind speed, maximum wind speed of 60m/s, was accelerated near tall buildings to more destructive 80m/s at one place in a moment.  I was reminded of the risk of the skyscraper wind effect which I was unaware living in a laid-back city. Two days later, a big earthquake in Hokkaido cracked roads, caused landslides and massive blackout.  What will be the next?  I'm so thankful that in the series of the natural disasters, Nara has not been affected or when affected, I've been safe with almost no damages.

Let's not forget the love and the beauties on this planet filled with light.

Taken with iPhone camera, several hours before the typhoon #20 hit on the 22nd of August

First of all, I recalled the calamities of this summer in the paragraphs above,
listening to the Japanese wind chime "fu-rin."
The clear and outworldly sound of  fu-rin takes me into daydreaming,
evoking emotion or memories of the past.

Fu-rin is hung from the eave in the long summer of Japan 
to suggest the coolness of a breeze.
They are made of cast iron, pottery, glass, and so on.
"Edo furin" is one of the most popular ones;
the glass painting is done from the inside in order to protect the colors.

Cicadas' singing is also special sound of summer in Japan.
Leaving the cast-off shell alone, cicadas praise their life in chorus
despite their vulnerable state with predators above the ground.

Digging to the surface, emerging from one to five years underground life,
climbing a tree, shedding their exoskeletons at night, 
they announce their return with their shrill chirps.
Is it a cacophony or a euphony to you?
To me, their voices sound dazzling, shining with the morning sun.

The 5-year-old boy Y knows the six common species 
and has started to recognize them by ear for their specific song.
The cicadas flew to freedom after being observed and having a rest.

with iPhone camera
As usual summer, the cheerful voices sounded at my home during their summer break.

How about this photo for the grand finale of this post?
The launched fireworks to light up the sky in a blaze of fleeting glory
is the thing of summer historically.
Since I took this photo handheld, I captured the moment without light trails.
Can you hear the sound?

Linked to Mosaic Monday


  1. Welcome back. I've missed you. You are right about we having a scorching summer in the northern hemisphere. Then we went from no rain all summer to cold and rain within a few short days as well as much cooler temperatures. I'm not sure how long the rain will last but it started Saturday and it is forecast for at least several days.

    I've been following the earthquakes there and it is sad about the loss of lives. I am pleased however that you are okay and your family too. We here in Vancouver are also on earthquake alert. At least, I am as I'm following what is happening around the Ring of Fire. Every day there is another large earthquake. Earlier today it was in the Solomon Islands and a small one very near where I live. I hope for the best for everyone along the Pacific Ring of Fire. In the meantime, I'll try to enjoy the season once the rain stops.

    Enjoy your autumn. xx

  2. A wonderful Post for Mosaic Monday -
    I enjoyed your Post so much. We as well have autumn here in Germany.

    Wish you a good Week!

  3. Japan is a beautiful country expose to extreme disasters.
    Love your colorful Fu-rin !
    And your pictures are gorgeous !
    Have a nice week !

  4. Japan has certainly had some major disasters this year, what next indeed? Your mosaic is beautiful, such loving happy faces, you are truly blessed to have these little ones in your life. Love the fireworks, what a spectacle!
    Happy Mosaic Monday.

  5. If only we had wings like the beautiful bug to fly away from so many natural disasters. I’ve been thinking of your region hearing all the news and relieved Nara seemed relatively safe. We’re all on the pinnacle of some unexpected change and challenge but the magic and moments of existence remains to be enjoyed with children, rainbows and chimes.

  6. Welcome back, and you're back with a BANG! So sad to hear about weather-related disasters that continue to occur around the world … I could write a lot about what I believe about it, but I won't. I appreciate your attitude about them and I really enjoyed the symbolism of the chimes and the cicadas in this post. I am amazed Boy Y can recognize their songs by ear. Looks like you had a very special summer with the kids.

  7. The climate nowadays offers extreme weather conditions worldwide. I'm happy your hometown is safe. In Europe we have suffered heavily from draught. This summer was the hottest one in Finland in a century. How will the next winter be? Also coldest in a century? Hope not. Your Japanese wind chimes are really beautiful.

  8. Hi! Lovely pictures. There has been a strange air everywhere in the summer. Have a nice day

  9. Hello, Dear Yoko!
    I am delighted with your great photos.
    The weather is getting more and more extreme every year.
    There are floods, hurricanes. Many people are left without a home.

    Great post Yoko. The children are cute.
    Kisses and greetings.

  10. Hello Yoko,
    I am sorry to hear of all the weather troubles Japan has experienced in recent months. Our daughter and her husband were due to travel to Japan last week, before the second typhoon, but decided to cancel their trip and reschedule for another time. They had planned to hike along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage walk and parts of it were closed due to the typhoon.

    Your photos of the cicada are beautiful and show the intricacy of the insect so very well. Children's voices can be very sweet and summer is full of fun times for them. Your mosaic shows lots of happy faces.

    Have a good week.

  11. Hello, Yoko, welcome back!
    It is a relief to know that Nara and you haven’t been much affected by recent disasters.
    Your family nest looks so peaceful with smiling little faces. This post is full of sounds. I listened to wind chimes and loved them! And the question “Is it a cacophony or a euphony to you?” made me think. Spontaneous reaction was that all sounds of nature are music to me, but on second thought I realized I’ve been fortunate to have never heard sounds of earthquake or volcano eruption.
    Autumn began according to calendar in our region. Together with the academic year for me.
    Have a restful September, Yoko! It is nice to hear you again!

  12. Sorry for the Yoko typhoons. I hope that soon they recover from the tragedy.
    Beautiful photos of nature and memories of summer. Guepos your grandchildren.
    Happy to read again.
    I'm also coming back from summer.

  13. A relief to hear that you have not been hurt by the recent disasters

  14. Thank you Yoko for sharing how the summer has been for Japan, so many weather disasters. Thank you for sharing the beauty, the children's summer, the sounds of the cicadas and the fu-rin chimes. Visiting your blog from Mosaic Monday.

  15. Dear Yoko - it was such a delight to hear from you today, and to know that you are back again. I was, of course, aware that Japan has suffered some unusual weather conditions this year, and did hope that everything was well with you. However, many of your country people must have suffered badly and no doubt are still suffering today, but you are wise to remind us not to forget the love and the beauties on this planet filled with light
    The whole world seems to be subject to weather patterns that are more unusual than normal, and I do find it quite frightening.
    I gather that your little grandson Y is a great nature lover already recognising 6 cicadas songs and at such a young age.

  16. What gorgeous shots! So glad Nara is not damaged, but so sorry to hear about all the natural disasters hitting your beautiful country.

  17. Hello Yoko, going to see the news.
    I loved it.
    Good continuation of the week.

  18. Here in Canada it has been very hot, and when I was in England and Scotland this summer it was hot too.... much hotter than it should be! Something terrible is happening to our climate and we have to stop the changes.... but how?
    Your little grandchildren are so sweet, playing and enjoying the summer. We have to save our planet for them!

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  20. It has been a while. お元気でしたか、「そして誰もいなくなった」日本人のブロガーがドンドンいなくなっていくようで寂しいです。

  21. bailiSeptember 17, 2018 at 12:10 AM
    Well come back Dear Stardust :).

    Hope you enjoyed your break as you live in a heavenly area of Japan my friend which has striking beauty all over!
    i feel sorry for disastrous weather conditions lately in your part of the land which made many people suffer

    i am thinking of them and pray may these months bring back peace to their lives and may fall be kind and sweet to them!

    may be i missed the news about earth quack in Japan ,i am so sorry for the damage and the terror it caused to your heart and heart of others

    earth quack are more in my native northern area and even more the higher parts of land along himmalia mountain , one that occurred in October 2005 is still shivering memory

    here in southern part they are less and weaker though summers are extreme and dry mostly as compare to northern part where rains are more often

    sending you lots of love and prays my friend!

    thank you for the interesting and beautiful sharing and loved the little angles who's smile made my day:)

  22. お久しぶりです。



  23. ご無沙汰しています。風に揺れる風鈴うまくとらえましたね。首は凝らなかった?



  24. Hello Yoko,
    I remember hearing the Cicadas when I was in Japan one year ago. There are no Cicadas in Germany.
    My husband keeps me informed about the Japanese summer. Honestly I am glad that I don't live there. It would be too hot for me. But also in Germany we had a very long and too hot summer and it was, at least in my region, very very dry.
    I am glad that you are safe, despite of heat, typhoon and earthquake!

  25. That's a wonderful firework photo. I can't hear the sound in my head but I can see the movement as the lights unfold. I have heard wind chimes before but not fu-rin. It does, as you say, sound a bit other worldly. I have always been fond of the sound of cicadas because it reminds me of hot summer days in the south of France when I was young. Each day I would wake and hear it. I know the sound can seem monotonous to many but I can forgive it because of the good memories it evokes. How blessed you are to have the happy children all around you. I sometimes think that they are the best antidote to the strain of adult life. ( I don't believe I thought that when my own children were young and I had to look after them every minute of the day, so that is one of the nice things about grandchildren!) I hope you and your loved ones keep well Yoko, and that there are no more disasters. I have been so dismayed at the natural afflictions suffered by Japan recently.

  26. What disastrous weather in many parts of the world! We are still very dry in CO, though as I write this, rain is falling. I give thanks for it! The smiling faces of your grandchildren make me smile, too. I wish for them to stay safe and happy. Already Y is showing his talents! I've seen Cicadas in Denver (the cast-off shells), but they do not survive in the mountains. I hope you have a glorious fall, Yoko.

  27. I am hearing about the very bad rains and winds in Japan, so I am sending you my best wishes, hoping that you and your family are warm, dry and safe!

  28. Good entry for the month of October.

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