Japan currently celebrates four beautiful seasons every year. But in ancient times, Japan relied on a different calendar that was in fact divided into 24 seasons and 72 microseasons. Now, you can enjoy the progress of all of these different seasons with 72 Seasons, a free app that lets you stay in tune with the ancient Japanese calendar.

72 Seasons was produced by Utsukushii Kurashikata Institute, and has been translated into English for all to enjoy. Updating about every 5 days, it’s designed to let you know when you enter a new season according to the ancient calendar, like when it’s the season of “Fish Rise From the Ice” or “Grass Sprouts, Tree Bud.”

Developed in a country that greatly values the changing of the seasons, this app makes perfect sense. But it’s also a new way to feel the passing of the year, without the constricting concept of precise dates and times.

In addition to that, it also provides you with seasonal information and gorgeous illustrations to accompany them. For example, it might tell you that the seasonal fish is the Golden Threadfin Bream, or that the seasonal vegetable is the Leaf Mustard. It even presents you with a haiku to spur your creativity.

According to the website, the aim of 72 Seasons was to “show a lifestyle that incorporates age-old Japanese wisdom into contemporary life.” Since Japan has a long history and is known as one of the most progressive countries in the world today, this blend of old and new is a poetic, almost romantic way of being in touch with some Japanese history.

Utusukushii Kurashikata Institute explains the history behind the 72 seasons in this way:

The path of the sun as seen from Earth creates a zodiac, 360 degrees divided into 24 15-degree sections, each one given a name to depict the seasonal changes through the year, with each season lasting just 15 days […] And beyond that, each season of the 24 season calendar was then divided again into three more, to create the 72 season calendar. Each of these 72 seasons lasts just five days or so, and the names of each season beautifully depict the tiny, delicate changes in nature that occur around us, year in year out.

 Utsukushii Kurashikata Institute

The app might just open you up to a completely new world, one filled with the beauty of all the little things that make up our lives.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.