Artifact | Umbrellas

“Japan has four seasons.” So the visitor to Japan is likely to be told should the conversation turn to the weather. In fact, Japan’s traditional calendar identifies 24 distinct seasons with poetic names like *seimei* – pure and clear – and *hakuro* – white dew. Each of these twenty-four *sekki* contain three *kō*, subdivisions that classify Japan’s climate into 72 microseasons, with no less poetic names evoking an east wind thaw and first view of rainbows. And it seems that for each microseason there are the necessary accessories, from the earmuffs and wool mufflers of the winter *kō* to the waterproof shoes and umbrellas of the rainy periods.