The school Sosekido (素石堂) was formed by my sensei, Unkotsu Komine (小峰雲骨) many years ago. I was 13 years old when I first met him, and it was the beginning of my long-time calligraphy path.

Japanese Old Name of the Month-April

Although it’s been a chilly week, the spring is definitely here. Spring is rather shy, it seems. 

In the old calendar, April was called Uzuki in Japan and it was between later April and earlier June in the current calendar. 

There are some origins where the name Uzuki came from.

  1. The month deutzia blooms (photo above). Deutzia is a genus of about 60 species of flowering plants in the family Hydrangeaceae. 
  2. Rabbit is the fourth animal in the Chinese zodiac and that’s probably why 卯月 is written as “rabbit month”
  3. It’s the month of planting rice. The word “ue zuki” gradually changed to uzuki.
  4. The month of starting farming. The weather is getting warmer and farmers start working. As it was a month of growing, the word 産ぶ (ubu/give birth) or 初ぶ (ubu/being born) could be the origin of Uzuki.

In Japan it’s the month of beginning. New school year starts in April and also the fresh people begin their first working life. Uzuki is the month of transformation. 

Written by: Juju Kurihara