How do you say “momi ji”?

A New Season!


It always amazes me that Japanese people of all ages have an appreciation for nature. (Although it is hard to tell just by looking at the concrete jungles that are the cities of Japan.) It seems to be ingrained in their psyches. It’s a huge part of the culture.

We’ve always done that

Being from a relatively new culture, I miss out on some of the “old ways.” Sure, we have superstitions from years ago, but it’s not quite the same. I mean, I still am uncomfortable opening an umbrella in the house, but that’s not that fun to think about.

People long ago kind of worshipped nature. They didn’t understand the world and its workings like we do now. One of the things that they celebrated was the changing of the seasons. In fact, the first day of both autumn and spring are national holidays here in Japan.

Here it comes!

From the time that Japanese people are children, the seasons are celebrated. (Not so much the summer though. People don’t seem to be thrilled about the coming of humidity.) Not just in school, but at home as well. People even take their families on trips just to see the fall colors. To a new fangled American like me, it’s kind of like watching paint dry.

Have you gone to see the fall colors?

Every year for every season someone asks me if I have gone to see the (insert seasonal event here.) My answer is always no. Why? Because I’ve done it once. And I remember it. In fact, I even took pictures. But I don’t even look at them! But every season and every year the Japanese march to their favorite spots to enjoy their favorite seasonal events like they have done since they were kids. Me? I stay home and watch TV.

So how DO you say that?

Every year in school several students ask me how to say “momi ji.” Truth is that we don’t have any word or expression that means the same thing. I always tell them, “fall colors.” But that’s ok. Even if it’s not quite the same, they know what it means. They always have.

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