What do Cicadas have to do with English teaching in Japan? Not much at all really but they do mean summer is here.
Summer means many different things to many different people. To me at the top of the list summer means cicadas. Did you know that there are about 2,500 known species in the world. In think that most of them live near my house. Oh and how about the name. Such a perfect name. The origin of the name is from Latin and means “buzzer”. Cicadas : Buzzer by name and Buzzer by nature.
Our family home is in Hyogo and surrounded by small mountains and trees. We have a small wood deck out the back and one of the signs summer is really here is when the wood deck heats up and burns our feet. Of course, well before that short term but very intense summer blast heats our area we will know summer has arrived with the sound of the first “buzzer” going off. Our summer alarm clock has switched on.
The first hint of summer will be a slight warm tinge to the wind blown up from the south west, just hint but definitely there. As a sailor I am very much in tune with the winds and am always happy to feel this warm change begin to overcome the chill of winter. Not long after that first hint a beaming little 7 year old daughter will run into the house yelling “Cicadas are back, summer holidays!”
To my daughter Cicadas mean summer holidays, to me they mean fun summer sailing and to my wife they mean holiday magazines and planning a family trip. There is so much to do here in Japan during the summer holidays I am sure it would be impossible to even begin to try out everything. Of course we do try our best to sample the many and various flavours of summer. Outdoor sports are high on the list, swimming at the beach, rafting, sailing, scuba diving and bush walking in deep cool forests to mention just a few and I know a lot of my fellow school owners love to get out there and make the most of summer sports. Recently I enjoyed an article by Don of Smith’s School of English Katsura school telling of his fun touring Japan on motorbikes. Fireworks are also high on the “to do” list and there are so many opportunities to see incredible fireworks displays. When it comes to fireworks Martin Zander , one of the original partners at Smith’s and present owner of Smith’s School Kotoen, is the one to talk to as he and his wife truly are experts on the subject of Summer festivals in Japan. Jerry from Smith’s School Hirakata also has news on this subject over here.
Japan and Summer, hot but loads of fun. Of course there comes that day in August when that same little girl comes in from playing and says, “Well Dad, the Cicadas have stopped back to school to see my friends”