14–18 February
Beginning of spring (Risshun, 立春)
Fish emerge from the ice (Uo kōri o izuru, 魚上氷)

This is not a season to be trusted. You pull back the curtains to clear skies, but check the forecast and there’s treachery afoot: rain, wind, squally nonsense set to ruin your afternoon.

According to the Japanese calendar, fish emerge from the ice, then duck back down again sharpish if they’ve got any sense.

What I’d like is a proper cold spell. Frost and ice and maybe snow. But instead we get unsettling wind and spirit-sapping rain. February, the shortest and ...


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