Tomorrow, it is Friday in Kyoto. That means getting up at 5AM for early Friday morning weapons class at Mugenjuku.
Last Friday, when I got up early, it was cool outside. That was the first day all summer when the night cooled off enough to make the morning “suzushi”, or pleasantly cool. As I was riding my bike to the dojo that morning, Kamanza Street–which is a wide boulevard completely overhung by a canopy of big, old tree branches–was silent, instead of buzzing with cicadas like it has been all summer. All I could hear was the whirring of my bike tires and the chirping of a few birds in the tree-tops.
I told my students at the English Buffet that I thought summer was over because the cicadas had gone. To a person, they were skeptical and said, “yes, but September is very hot.” Yet, the weather has held. All week this week, we have had cool days. My dogi has not been translucent with sweat, and Nick even used his quilt once to keep warm at night. The weather turned on a dime.
However, I went by Shiramine Shrine today to visit the Minamoto kami who are venerated there as gods of martial arts. (Actually, I just wanted to walk around the trees and old buildings, but I said hello to the Minamotos, too.) Shiramine has a feeling of being otherworldly and behind the times. Like Dagobah. Maybe that’s why I like it. Anyhow, there are still cicadas buzzing at Shiramine.
So, Kyoto is silent… almost!