By Mitsue Uchida Finch (Please scroll below for the English version)


 さて、7月(しちがつ、なながつ) 文月の由来は、7月7日の七夕に詩歌を献じたり、書物を夜風に曝したりする風習があるかららしいですが、七夕の行事は奈良時代に中国から伝わったらしく、そこで、日本風には稲の穂が含む月であることから「含み月」「穂含み月」の意であるとする説もあります。また、「秋初月(あきはづき)」、「七夜月(ななよづき)」の別名もあるとか。英語ではJuly、ユリウス暦を創ったローマ末期の政治家ユリウス・カエサル(Julius Caesar) からとられているとのことです。





「ユーホー桃 ほおばる頬に 笑み浮かび」              

「笹の葉に 祈願しるしや 放念し」                

「ET フォーン ホームはBT 宣伝句?!」



♪♪ Football’s coming home!? ♪♪

We hope everyone is doing well. It seems the lockdown in England will be lifted in July and we won’t have to wear face coverings anymore except as a voluntary measure.

June was full of sporting activities for British players in tennis and football, and I’m writing this rather in a hurry because I didn’t realise it is already July!

July is the month of Tanabata (on 7th July), I don’t even remember what I wished for, though!

The origin of July (Shichigatsu, Nanagatsu or Fumizuki in Japanese) is said to be the custom of hanging up books to the night wind on July 7th, and it came to be called ‘Fumihirogezuki’, from the meaning of opening up books, and there is a theory that it became ‘Fumizuki’. There is also a theory that it means ”when the ears of rice bear fruit” therefore it is called “Fukumi zuki” or “Hofumi zuki”. It is also known as “Akihazuki (start of autumn)” or “Nanayozuki (7th nights)”. In English it is July, from Julius Caesar, the late Roman statesman who founded the Julian calendar.

Tanabata event was introduced from China in the Nara period (710-794).

In Japan, you are told the story of Tanabata at school, so here is a brief introduction for those who grew up in the UK:

Orihime, the daughter of the emperor, was a good weaver and a hard worker, and Hikoboshi (Natsuhiko) was also a hard worker. The Emperor approved their marriage and they became husband and wife, but their life together was so enjoyable that Orihime stopped weaving and Natsuhiko stopped working, therefore the angry Emperor decided to separate them across the Milky Way. They were allowed to meet only once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th month, when a magpie built a bridge across the Milky way so that they could meet. But when it rained, the Milky Way became too swollen for them to meet each other.

Tanabata has another name, “Hoshi-ai”, since it is the meeting of the stars. The rain that falls on this day is also called “tears rain”, which is said to be the tears shed by Orihime and Natsuhiko.

Will it be raining in Britain on the 7th this year?? 

Now here’s the usual haiku and senryu time.

“UFO Momo Hobaru hoho ni emi ukabi”

“Sasa no Ha ni Kigan shirushiya hounen shi”

“ET phone home ha BT Senden ku?!”

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful summer and enjoy watching sports! Go England!