ホタル・蛍・Hotaru koi!

Can you see the firefly? Summer has hit with temps in the 100’s these last few days. Early mornings are pleasant, but after that it’s stifling. There are good things to be said about it though. It brings out the magical little hotaru, fireflies (really beetles). In Japan they watch the progress of their arrival on maps in just the way they do Cherry blossoms. Earlier, I watched a video (and these images are from there) about a photographer who documents their appearance, beginning in southern Kyushu, in Satsuma, on the Sendai River, ending in Hokkaido. I learned that the dominant hotaru in Kyushu is the ゲンジ蛍・ Genjibotaru or the Genji firefly。 The larvae also live in the river and feed on the snails living there. Recently, the concern is that the population is waning due to pollution and that was one of the concerns of this photographer.

There is a well-loved children’s song about fireflies, Hotaru Koi , that is so familiar, I must have learned it when I was young.

ホ ホ ほたる こい / Ho ho hotaru koi / Come fireflies, come
あっちの みずは にがいぞ / Atchi no mizu wa nigai zo / That water over there is bitter
こっちの みずは あまいぞ。 / Kotchi no mizu wa amai zo / This water here, is sweet
ホ ホ ほたるこい / Ho ho hotaru koi / Come fireflies come
やまみち こい / Yama michi ko / Come to the mountain path
あんどの ひかりで / Ando no hikari de / To the lantern light

また こい こい / Mata koi koi / Come, come again.

Hotaru can also be found in shibori. Years ago, I happened upon this Hotaru technique that I haven’t had much luck with. It’s time to change that.

The only instructions said, “With the cotton balls as the center, the dyed pattern becomes blurred, resembling a firefly.”

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