Winter in Ibaraki 2012.2.20 Aurelie Noel
(from her February 2012 article in the Maiibaraki newspaper)
It has been my fifth winter in Japan, but since I’m living in Ibaraki I can say that I realized the influence of seasons on Japanese culture. In France, we also have four seasons but it feels different. I was always surprised how quickly we would leave summer for autumn and even winter! Also, every season is the time for seasonal food in grocery stores and it’s always a pleasure to taste something new. There is a common culture for each season such as Japanese traditional festival during summer, Kotatsu and Mochi during winter, Cherry blossom viewing in Spring and Red leaves during autumn. When I talk to my friends about the humidity and average temperature during summer or the actual temperature inside the house in winter, they are always very surprised. In Europe, apartments are always very warm inside. People think about how to warm the house more than the individuals. In Japan the heating devices are used to heat a specific area where people have to congregate to stay warm rather than the entire room. Recently, I started to think about how the nature can be tough in Japan and how it influences Japanese people. Japan is known throughout the world for its unstable nature but more so for the kindness of its people. I feel that here the people have a respect for the power of nature and never underestimate how our lives can depend on it. I think that French people shouldn’t forget it.
※this article was witten for the Maiibaraki newspaper
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