It’s September! That means it’s almost time for the most wonderful season of all – autumn! Alas here on the Wet Coast autumn typically means the start of the seemingly-endless rainy season, but September is still a truly beautiful month, with bright, blue skies and crisp days. It’s one of my favourite times of the year, bringing to mind feelings of fresh new starts and new promises.
To help get us in the autumnal mood, here’s a beautiful Japanese children’s song that brings to mind mountainsides lit with a blaze of orange, red, and yellow leaves.
Autumn colors on the mountain lit by the sunset,
Deep colors and pale ones,
A kimono skirt pattern of pine, maple and ivy trees
Decorating the mountain’s base.
In the valley stream, scattered autumn leaves
Tremble on the waves alone and together,
Various shades of red and yellow
Forming a woven brocade on the water’s surface.
Japanese is written using three different writing systems – katakana, hiragana and kanji. Kanji characters resemble Chinese characters (織 or 錦, for example), and a single character can mean a distinct word. Mastering kanji is hard, which is why Japanese texts often also include the hiragana equivalents for each kanji symbol (or at least the less common ones), so that children (and less literate foreigners) can still read them! It’s a real life saver, especially when you’re travelling. It also means that I will likely be reading Japanese at the level of a preschooler for the rest of my life. 😉
Now, hurry up, fall! We’ve missed you!