On his trip to the Deep North of Japan in summer of 1689, Haiku Master Basho (1644-1694) visited Tendai sect Temple “Risshakuji” in Yamagata and sang a landmark verse:
Ah, such stillness
Piercing into the rocks
Kevin Short, the Daily Yomiuri columnist “Nature in Short”, whom I admire, wrote that Japan is a cicada paradise and there are five common species in the lowlands of Japan. The three species above referred to in the Basho controversy are all included.
Today we expect the weather bureau’s declaration of the end of rainy season any moment and the hot summer is due with the arrival of the cicada season in Fukuoka, Kyushu where we live.
Thousands of army forces mobilized immediately to search for the missing using helicopters.
Once the rescue army forces left the flooded sites, volunteers in the thousands arrived daily to help home owners and farmers remove mud, driftwood and debris.
Awful amounts of wood were gouged out from the mountains and it’s probable cicada larvae most likely met with unfortunate disaster. However, I’m sure grief stricken villagers still hear cicadas, same as previous years and may soothe and encourage the survivors that life goes on.
I have a Japanese friend who usually spends his summers in Cameron Highland, Malaysia, 1800 m above sea level. Cameron Highland was discovered late in the 18th Century by an early British colonial and the area was developed as a tea plantation. It is 200 km north of the capital Kuala Lumpur and 90 km from Ipoh.
Jim Thompson (1906-1967), Thai silk king, had his cottage there, and it’s a mystery how/why he went missing during his stay. A friend told me Cameron Highland is a mecca for insect hunting, cicadas in particular. It is famous for the world largest cicada, “Tacua speciosa” aka Emperor Cicada! I found a photo. The Emperor Cicada covers almost from your elbow to the heel of your hand. Fantastic. What do they sound like? The sound of a trumpet! Can you believe that?