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March – Japanese English month

© Digital Stock / CorbisIt’s Japanese English month. I expect it to be poetic … I don’t have any real grounds for this expectation, it just seems to me that when Japanese meets English, poetry should happen.

Maybe some haikus.

We’ve had some great response from twitter followers and from bloggers, teachers and various peeps in Japan and we’re looking forward to interesting posts and conversations throughout the month of March.

Why March for Japan? Although you’ll only relate to this if you live north of the equator, March comes as a huge relief as the days get lighter and bleakness that is February subsides. I don’t know much about Japanese culture, it’s true, but it seems that in Japan there is a tradition of marking and observing changes in nature, and the Vernal Equinox in March is definitely one to mark. To borrow straight from Wikipedia:

the festival of Shunki kōrei-sai … takes place in Japan in March to observe the vernal equinox around March 20[1] This national holiday was established in 1948 as a day for the admiration of nature and the love of living things. Prior to 1948, the vernal equinox was an imperial ancestor worship festival …”

So if anybody has haikus to share about the changing seasons – send them in!

Also, before we start hearing from Japan about how English is used there, did you know that the words rickshaw, tycoon and honcho come from Japanese? We’ll be adding some new arrivals in English from Japanese to the Open Dictionary through the month and you’re welcome to do the same too if you know of others.

If you would like to write a guest post, send in a haiku or contact us at all, please email us. If you have made a video, send us the YouTube link and we will link you through to this blog.

Happy Shunbun no Hi!

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Laine Redpath Cole

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