Zassetsu (Supplementary Solar Terms)


Zassetsu is Japanese original terms that complement 24 Solar Terms.

They were used for farmers to compreghend seasons, and still now they give us a sence of seasons and have a big impact on the seasonal events in Japan.





Here are some of them, which we are familiar with and till strongly connect to our custom.


1.土用(Do-yo)

the perood of 18 days before the beginning of four sesons in 24 solar terms

立春(Risshun - the beginning of spring - approx. 4 Feb)

立夏(Rikka- the beginning of summer - approx. 5 May) 

立秋(Risshu- the beginning of autumn - approx. 7 August)

立冬(Ritto- the beginning of winter - approx. 7 November)


*土用の丑の日(Do-yo no ushi no hi) is the day we have a custom of eating eels.


2.節分(Setsubun)

the day before 立春(Risshun)

*the day of Bean-throwing tradition


3.彼岸(Higan)

the period of 7days which contains 立春(Risshun) and 立秋(Risshu) in the middle

*We have a custom to go to our cemetary during this period.


4.八十八夜(Hachi ju hachi ya)

88 days after 立春(Risshun) , which is approx. on 2 May

*There is a well-known song, saying `Hachi-ju-hachi-ya when summer approaches ...'


5.入梅( Nyubai)

80 degrees in the ecliptic longitude, which is approx. on 11 June

*It literally means `to enter plums'. As this is the season of plums, we use this term to describe the wet season begins.

Similarly, 梅雨(tsu-yu) means the wet season in Japan. `Plum rain' is its literal meaning.



:Bibliography:

eco.mtk.nao.ac.jp/koyomi/faq/24sekki.html.en

http://www.i-nekko.jp/meguritokoyomi/zassetsu/index.html

https://kotobank.jp/word/雑節-69200#E3.83.96.E3.83.AA.E3.82.BF.E3.83.8B.E3.82.AB.E5.9B.BD.E9.9A.9B.E5.A4.A7.E7.99.BE.E7.A7.91.E4.BA.8B.E5.85.B8.20.E5.B0.8F.E9.A0.85.E7.9B.AE.E4.BA.8B.E5.85.B8

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