The sixth month, Minazuki, under the old Japanese lunar calendar

(Posted on July 11, 2024)

What does Minazuki mean? Literally, it connotes as the “month of no water”.

But it’s more understood as the “month of water”, complete opposite based on the interpretation of the word using its three Chinese characters. June is a month related to the rainy season. In terms of flora, the month is noted for beautiful hydrangeas and irises. Here, we would like to highlight hydrangeas, which you will come across quite often at Buddhist temples.


This is Shogaku-ji, a Buddhist temple in the Center Minami area, northern Yokohama. These photos were taken on June 14, 2024. Did you know that the color of hydrangeas varies according to the soil? Pinkish flowers come from an acidic soil, whereas blueish and whitish ones from an alkaline soil.


The photos were taken on June 16, 2024 not far from a museum dedicated to Shibusawa Eiichi (1840-1931), referred to as the father of Japanese capitalism. The museum is located at Shibusawa’s previous residence, now a park in Kita-ku, Tokyo. Incidentally, Shibusawa is to become even more of a household name, when a new 10,000-yen note with his image will enter circulation from July 3, 2024. 

Thirdly, we come to Jyokei-ji, a Buddhist temple in northern Kawasaki. The photos were taken on June 17, 2024. Jyokei-ji is famous for beautiful flowers year-round and also small statues of Buddhist monks often in humorous poses. The local produce is persimmons.



Lastly, let me show you a Haiku, a Japanese short poem, depicting the rainy season by Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902). “As rain stops intermittently, ants come out here and there marching.”   (The author’s translation)






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