Japanese Culture Episode9: Calendar こよみ | Japanese Language School in Sydney | BBICollege

Japanese Culture Episode9: Calendar こよみ

By Ayako sensei, Posted on 26/02/2018

Japanese Culture Episode9: Calendar こよみ


One of the first difficult contents of Japanese study is calendar.

In 31 days, we have

11 special reading,

4 irregular reading, and

16 regular reading.



Last week, at Special Beginner Class, they learned (revised actually) the calendar and I heard students screamed.


Why… sensei…. why…?

To many specials and irregulars…


Come on guys, only 15. You do not need to remember other 16.






The teacher who is conducting Special Beginner course loves flash cards.

I do not need to say flash cards practice lasts until the students get familiar with calendar…



Ganbatte kudasai!!!!



By the way, it still under 10℃ of the highest temperature in a day in Japan.

But according to the calendar, it’s already Spring(はる haru).

When we talk about seasons in special seasonal greetings and annual events, we use special calendar which was used in Japan until 1872. We call the calendar ‘旧暦(きゅうれき Kyuu-reki)’ and currently used calendar ‘新暦(しんれき Shin-reki)’.

As Kyuu-reki has about one month behind gap with Shin-reki, we state February as spring even in the middle of winter. Some annual events follow Kyuu-reki’s date or its calculating system, others are fixed to Shin-reki’s date. For example, we used to celebrate boys welfare on 5th May of Kyuu-reki. We still keep the date 5th May in Shin-reki to celebrate it, which is not 5th May in Kyuu-reki. And new year celebration in Japan is according to Shin-reki although it is the most important annual event for us.



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