According to the traditional seasonal almanac or ‘shichijuniko’ (72 seasons) the sekki which runs from 6th – 20th March is known as 啓蟄/ Keichitsu or ‘Awakening of Insects’, a time when the ground is slowly beginning to warm and hibernating insects begin to emerge. It is separated into three ‘ko’, the second of which is ももはじめてさく(momo hajimete saku) “peach blossoms flower”.
When Kiku looked up the kanji used however (桃始笑), he found that it could be read as ‘peach blossoms laugh’ – and he thought that when the blossoms shivered in the wind, they might look as though they were shaking with laughter…
He had to admit, that the sight of blossom did make him happy…


Further information
*Sekkis, Kos and The Fox Alamanac
Kiku has been working on translating an old Japanese seasonal almanac given to him by Boss Panda. Originally from China, the recordings within it were changed long ago to more accurately reflect the seasonal transitions in central Honshu, the main island of Japan, where Tokyo is located. Closely linked to agriculture, the system divides the solar year into 24 segments called ‘sekki’ and each of these has a concise title that gives a general indication of the season. Each sekki is divided further into three five-day segments called ‘ko’ (climates). Each ko has an observation noted for the five days – a change in insect or plant behaviour for example, and Kiku is working his way through them, hoping that by following the little seasonal changes as remarked on in the almanac, he will come to have a better understanding of Japan, a country where seasonal foods and customs are still very familiar to many. He calls his own version the ‘fox almanac’ or in Japanese the ‘Kitsune no shichijuniko’ (Fox’s 72 climates).


  • Jennifer says:

    I adore the picture of kick looking at the peach blossom. Such a lovely, happy sight. I love the words “peach blossom laughter”. It’s a (very short) poem!

    • nakamura says:

      Thank you! Yes, it is an extremely economical poem, but one that makes me smile! Some of the seasonal markers seem like the ultimate wisdom when you read them….x