JAPANESE CULTURE – Kannazuki, Iwashi-gumo

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– Oct 1, 2020 –

Kannazuki is said to be the name given to the month of October due to the fact that gods who live in various parts of Japan (it is said that there are 8 million gods) disappear from each location and gather at Izumo Taisha during October. In Izumo, where Izumo Taisha is located, October is called Kamiarizuki, meaning a month WITH god, as a result of the congregation of all the gods. With the gods in once place at Izumo, it creates Kannazuki (without gods) in the rest of Japan.

Clouds called Iwashi-gumo are often seen in Japan during this season. Iwashi means sardine, and kumo, or gumo in this case, means cloud. The official name of Iwashi-gumo is cirrocumulus, and there is a high chance of rain in about 12 hours after such a cloud occurs. As you can see in the photo, the Iwashi-gumo is made up of small grains and looks like sardine scales. In Japan, there is a short-form poem called haiku, and Iwashi-gumo is recognized as a word for the autumn season used in haiku.