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According to the Japanese lunar calendar, today (Oct. 20) is the beginning of doyou (roughly meaning soil function) when many activities occur in the soil. It starts 18 days before the beginning of 4 seasons. During these periods earth/soil should supposedly be kept untouched. It is interesting to know the significance attached to the fairly commonly used word, doyou. I wonder how many Japanese know its meaning. I for one did not know there were 4 doyou periods in one year and they had a particular significance. I think the concept of doyou may have been created to rest the soil occasionally so that farming would remain sustainable indefinitely. It shows the agricultural origin of traditional Japanese economic structure.

So, today is the beginning of transition to winter, which comes on Nov. 7, according to the Japanese lunar calendar. Indeed, I noticed the changing of the season when the trees that decorated the nearby road with golden arcade began to shed their leaves. The trees, which only a few days ago looked so gorgeous with triumphant golden leaves, now seem sad with their skeletal structures exposed.

“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.” Earnest Hemingway A Moveable Feast