Itoshima regional calendar
Itoshima calendar group creates page-a-day calendars that introduce Itoshima’s nature, culture, traditional events, and living organisms. These calendars provide information about what life with nature is like and motivate people to go out and experience nature.
The page-a-day calendar, “Itoshimakoyomi,” introduces living organisms, traditions such as festivals, myths, as well as information about what should be done when to take care of the mountains and farmland in a way that takes nature’s lifecycle into consideration. By reading about traditions every day, Itoshima calendar group hopes that people will begin to feel closer to Itoshima’s nature.
The “Itoshimakoyomi” calendar was first issued in 2014. Two years before that, in 2012, the “Itoshima calendar group” was established, and they began the legwork, conducting interviews, etc. And it was in 2013, that the first page-a-day calendar was finally complete. Since then, Itoshima calendar group has developed new content every year and the team is currently working on the 4th (2017) edition. The calendar has received the following positive feedback: “I live in Itoshima, but by reading the calendar learned about our island’s culture for the very first time.” “I was surprised to see that what was written on the calendar happened in real life, in nature.” “My children and I look forward to reading the calendar every day.”
Each year they interview a wide range of people from elderly men and women, fishermen, professors of entomology, birdwatchers, to environmental activists. Nowadays, we look at the calendar and realize what season it is, but in the old days, nature and the living organisms around us served as our “calendar.” People knew how to sense the seasons by watching the vegetation and animals around them. They lived, sewing seeds, harvesting crops all the while interpreting the changes in the seasons.
Itoshima calendar group expresses the changes in nature with text and illustrations with the hope that the calendar will help people live in harmony with nature, appreciate nature, and once again learn to interpret nature. At the same time, they hope that the calendar will become the guiding star for protecting and bequeathing to the next generation Itoshima’s biodiversity and culture.
Other prefectures such as Gifu and Niigata have contacted Itoshima calendar group wanting to create their own original calendars, so recently they have started to offer advice. It would be great if regions across Japan began creating calendars that are in touch with nature.