Special for This Month (March 2004)
Mandala Taught by Forest (11) - Calendar -

森が教えてくれたマンダラ (11) - 暦 -


. . . .
. このページの日本語

This page includes English and Japanese. (Your computer might not recognize the Japanese parts)

The forest in this series is originally in WA state, but now sometimes it appears in my mental image.
Abbreviations in this conversation, F: the forest talk, Y: Yoshiko's talk
例によって森との会話です。F: 森、Y: 佳子の略符号を用いています。

: the sun (太陽)
: { (the same kind) of }: star (星 )
: the earth (地球)
: { , }: planet (惑星)
: the moon (月)

On the way,
: { gathering of }: the Galaxy 銀河(系), : galaxy (銀河系外星雲)
: { artificial }: artificial satellite (人工衛星), : satellite of other planet (他の惑星の衛星)
{it's like , but its track is ellipse): comet (惑星のように太陽の周りを回るが楕円軌道)彗星)

[Calendar]

Yoshiko:
You look happy with new green grasses and sprouts of trees.

Forest:
Yes, I was cowering in the cold months. I'm stretching out.
From now on, daytime will be longer and longer.
Blooming will also start.

Y:
I'm going to be lured to stretch by you.
It's funny to feel a connection between me,
you, the earth and the sun with some wave, isn't it?

F:
The moon and stars are linked, as well.
In a large rhythm, we all are now.

Y:
But the forests and people on the opposite side of this planet
are going to droop with longer nights, I imagine.

F:
Every thing has its reverse.
As one side lightened, the other side is in the shade.
Both are in the same rhythm.

Y:
Thinking in a universal language must train and customize us
to have such yin and yang images together at the same time.
Now here in the northern hemisphere is the vernal equinox,
but in the southern one is the autumn equinox.
Although the equinox, when day and night become the same length,
is common around the world.
If the equinox is the starting point of a year,
it might be easier for everyone's recognition.

F:
The sun's revival point and the shortest daytime,
namely winter solstice is also good for it, for me.
I usually sleep from winter solstice until after the coldest time.
You know, my clock starts with the singing of songbirds,  
and follows the order of flower openings of morning glory, dayflower,
dandelion, oxalis, etc. and the movements of small animals around them.
And yet, trees are honestly recording each sleeping time,
well growing time and hard time for them in their annual rings.

Y:
Now I know why the ancient Roman calendar was that strange:
they set a year as ten months for 304 days starting from spring
and the rest of the  days had no name as hibernation time.
That was because the people were so naturally living just like you!
  Later for their agricultural planning referring to seasons,
  they had elaborated the solar calendar step by step.

F:
On the other hand, watching the moon is also convenient to know the passage of days.
The moon shape and the rising time obviously change every day.
Also the moon looks like a mirror.
I can look at my own reflection in the far distance,
and sometimes the moon reflects to us the scene that
it has watched in other places before rising here.
In the coldness, I've been saved by the image of the opposite warm world,
sent by the moon.

Y:
That makes a lot of sense.
I had thought that the reason for the long custom of the Moslem lunar calendar
was the importance of the moon and starlights
to know the time and direction for the desert pastoral people.
Adding to it, they might have another reason that the moon has spiritually
supported them, contrastively to the sun that has supported humans' daily lives.

Come to think of it, while using only the solar calendar, people neither watch the moon,
nor reflect on the lunar mirror every evening. I think about myself too.

China uses the lunar-solar calendar as well as Japan did in the old days.
These areas have four distinct seasons and their farming
and cultures have been strongly linked to seasons.
So they've divided a solar year into 24 seasonal terms, naming each one,
and count days in a month always from a new moon to next new moon
the same as the Moslem calendar.

If the cycle of the moon is exactly the same as 30 days,
a year is certainly 360 days, and the solstice or the equinox is always a new moon,
nobody could complain about the lunar-solar calendar.
It must be a very rational and nice calendar.

F:
Hahaha, Celestial bodies are not gears.
They don't turn for neat numbers.
Each of them turns to harmonize with other bodies.
Nature is always moving and changing.

Y:
I know that.
Therefore humans have made much effort to capture the relations.
Every calendar was made based on the rhythm of nature,
and yet big differences have come up between areas,
because each standard and the start point of an era was different from others.

A year of the Moslem calendar is as short as
6 (months) times 30 days +  6 (months) times 29 days = 354 days;
so a new year's day is each time shifted  up from before.
Accumulating the differences, they count as 33 years for 32 years in the western calendar.

In the Chinese calendar, a new year's day is always a new moon of the coldest season,
and seven leap years for 19 years to arrange back the shifting to the solar cycle.
But the way of making the calendar is complicated;
also political and economical management is not so easy
between 12 month years and 13 month years.
Japan changed their calendar into the western solar one in 1872,
very early after the opening of the country to the world.
That was not only for their diplomatic convenience, but also for weathering
through the economical crisis, saving payment of salaries for the leap  month, I read.

One reason why the Gregorian Christian calendar was commonly used in diplomacy
was to follow the advanced civilization, of course.
But the simplicity of the calendar had to be another large reason, I think.

Since this has been common worldwide, I'm using it too.
But I wonder if  people will continue to use this calendar in the Earth Language era,
if it would come.

F:
Are there any cultural problems with EL as in the Gregorian calendar?

Y:
Yes, there are.
The pope Gregorius 8th in the 16th century renewed the solar calendar
to reduce the accumulative error to the least amount.
But irrational traditions have been inherited too from Roman history:
for naming months, the names of deities of ancient Rome have been used,
Roman emperors, Julius and Augustus squeezed their names in
for the 7th and the 8th months, shifting the original Latin number names
meant 7th-10th into 9th-12th months; and the sequence of
31-days-month and 30-days-month were originally alternate, but it became irregular.

Also the standard of the era was set as Jesus Christ's birth year,
even though it wasn't sure; and His birthday was set as
the ancient festival day of the revival of the sun after winter solstice;
also the new year's day was set as the day when Jesus was given
circumcision on the 8th day after his birthday.
I guess St. Gregorius 8th made the calendar superposing the important day of Christianity
on the important day for predicting the following weather and their farming,
because a lot of proverbs remains in Europe, meaning that if it's cold on Christmas day,
warm spring/a rich harvest is expected; if  it's warm, cold spring/a small harvest would follow.

Just as a traditional language has held much local culture,
so a traditional calendar has held much of its history.

Holding history is a nice thing for its descendants, I think.
But for its worldwide usage, other people might be hard to accept it.
Anyway, the revolution of the common calendar is the most difficult task,
changing a part of daily custom worldwide, and making inconvenient
for connecting to a local history.
If it could be possible to have a new calendar in the consensus,
it must be in a new universal language like EL.
Because the written system is entirely new anyway.

F:
What type of calendar do you want to have in EL?

Y:
That's the question, which I'd like to ask to others.
Well, nonetheless I prefer the solar calendar.
However a year must start at a commonly and naturally recognizable day such as equinox or solstice;
the EL era calculation should include the + 0 year/century
and the - 0 year to suit the modern mathematics, and the start point of the era
must relate to the beginning of the global communication/society, not to a local history.

Ah, another thing, the EL calendar always wants to have symbols of new moon,
waxing moon, full moon and waning moon onto the proper spot,
adding  a seasonable  name for each of those days in each local area.
Adding forecast information about comets and distinguished movements of
other celestial bodies might be useful to feel the connection
between human lives and the universe.

F:
Wahaha, 
That is the total version of all types of calendar. 
It's just like the EL idea. If worldwide consensus was made for it,
you could have a big hope in the EL improvement, too, couldn't you?
But, you know, I don't need such a thing like a calendar,
because I'm  all  the time closely communicating with the earth, the sun,
the moon and  other  celestial bodies. (smile)

written by Yoshiko McFarland (March 1st, '04)

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Japanese

Y:
    若草が伸び、木の芽も膨らんで、森はうれしそうね。

F:
そう、寒い間はちぢまってたからね、
うーーーんと伸びをする。
これからは、太陽といるときがどんどん長くなる。花も咲く。

Y:
つられてわたしも伸びをしたくなっちゃう。
おもしろいね、こんなに離れてるのに、太陽と地球と、
そして森とわたしと。同じ波でつながってる。

F:
月や星もそうだよ。
大きなリズムの中にみんないっしょにいるんだ。

Y:
でも、地球の反対側ではこれから夜が長くなるから、
心も沈みはじめると想うわ。

F:
ものみな、表があるとすればかならず裏もできる。
光があたるところがあれば、陰もできる。
どちらもはずせない一体として同じリズムの中にいるんだよ。

Y:
共通語で考えるということは、そんな陰陽を
同時にイメージする習慣化でもあるのね。
今北半球のここでは春分だけど、南半球じゃ秋分、
昼と夜の長さが同じ日という点では世界共通。
1年の基点をこの日にすると、
時と季節がみんなにわかりやすいね。

F:
日照時間の最も短い、太陽が復活に向かいはじめる
冬至もわかりやすい、わたしにはね。
冬至から寒の峠を越えるまではとろとろ眠る。
なにしろわたしの時計は、早起きの歌い鳥や
朝顔の開花にはじまって、露草、タンポポ、
カタバミ・・と、それぞれいつもの時間に花開く草や、
それらにつられて動く動物たちだからな。
でも、木々は、眠ったとき、成長の進んだとき、
辛かったときの記録を年輪の中に正直に
ちゃーんと残してるんだよ。

Y:
そうか、古代ローマ人が活動開始の春から
10ヶ月(304日)を1年とし、残りは冬ごもりの名無し日
なんて暦を使ってたのは、
そんな自然とともにいたからなのね。
そして農耕は、日照時間や季節を基に計画して
働くので、太陽暦を発達させた。

F:
だけどね、過ぎ行く日数を知るには月を見るのがいい。
月の満ち欠けと出る時間は毎日目に見えて変るからな。
それに、月は鏡みたいだから、
わたし自身を遠くに映したり、
昇ってくる前によそで観た光景を映し出してくれたりもする。
寒いときには反対側の暑い世界を映して
忍ばせてくれることもある。

Y:
なるほど、イスラム教の純太陰暦が
牧畜地帯で永く使われてきたのは、
月や星が砂漠のなかで時や方向の大事な標識だからと
思ったけど、 太陽が日常の暮らしを支えるのに対し、
月は深く精神に働きかけてもきたのね。

そういえば、太陽暦だけ使ってると毎晩月を眺めないし、
今日一日を月に照らして反省なんてこともしなくなってる。

中国や日本の旧暦は、太陰太陽暦。
四季の変化が著しい農耕地帯で考えられたので、
1年を24節気に分け、1ヶ月はイスラム暦と同様、
常に新月からはじまるんです。
もしも月の周期がぴったり30日で、1年が360日、
そして冬至か春分がかならず新月だったら、
文句なく太陰太陽暦が合理的で、すてきなんだけど・・

F:
ハハハ、歯車じゃないんだ、
星は数をそろえるために回らない。
大宇宙の調和の中でそれぞれ回ってる。
自然は刻々と動き、変化もする。

Y:
そう・・だからヒトはそれらの関係を捉えるために
苦労をつんできました・・
どの暦も、自然のリズムを基に考えられてはいるんだけど、
基準や紀元のちがいで、大きな差ができちゃった。

イスラム暦の1年は、
30日×6ヶ月+29日×6ヶ月=354日と短く、
年初がどんどん太陽暦からずれて、
西暦の32歳の人はイスラム暦では33歳になってしまうの。

中国暦では、最低気温となる時期の新月の日を
1年の初めとし、 19年に7度の閏月を置いて
太陽暦とのずれを 調節するのだけれど、
閏月の入れ方が複雑だったり、
1年が12ヶ月と13ヶ月の場合が起きて、
経済の管理上もやっかいなんです。
日本が開国して間なしの1872年に
早くも旧暦から西暦に乗り換えたのは、
外交上の理由だけでなくて、
閏月の取り止めでその月の支払いをなくし、
財政危機をきり抜けようとしたともいわれます。

グレゴリオ太陽暦を世界中が外交上で使うようになったのは、
欧米先進国の力のせいももちろんだけど、
簡単明瞭な暦だってことも大きいと思うわ。

これがすでに共通暦になってるので、
わたしもついそのまま使ってるけれど、
もし地球語時代がきたときもみながこれを使いつづけるかは、
ちょっと疑問ね。

F:
地球語では基準にしない地域文化がグレゴリオ暦には
まぎれてて、不合理なのかい?

Y:
そのとおり。
16世紀にローマ法王グレゴリウス8世によって
誤差のほとんどない太陽暦に改造されたんだけど、
1年が10ヶ月だった古代ローマ時代からの歴史が反映されてるの。
月の名前にローマの神名が用いられたり、皇帝の名も割り込んで、
交互だった月の日数がでたらめになり、
ラテン語で7番〜10番目の月の意味だった名が9番〜12番月に
ずらされたなどと、不合理でしょ。

それに、イエス・キリスト生誕の年月日は不明だったのに、
紀元を推測によるイエスの誕生の年とし、
誕生日は冬至の後の太陽復活の祭日と勝手に決め、
生後8日目にイエスが受けた割礼の儀式の日が
一月一日として設定されたんだそうです。

ヨーロッパには、クリスマスに凍てつくと翌年は豊作、
温かだと春に冷え込んで不作、
などのことわざがたくさん残っており、
グレゴリウス8世は、1年の予測に大事な日と
キリスト教の軸を重ねて暦造りをしたんだと想うわ。

伝統言語が、地方文化の宝をいっぱい詰めてるように、
伝統暦もしっかり歴史を背負ってます。

それはそれですばらしいこと、背負いつづければいいと思う。
でもそれを当然として地球全体に押し付けられると、
他の文化圏では納得しにくいでしょう。

共通暦の改革は至難の業、 習慣をかえたり、
過去の暦への換算が厄介だもんね。
地球語のような新しい記録方法といっしょに改革しないかぎり、
たぶんこのままずるずるでしょうね。

F:
もし地球語の暦を作るとすれば、どう作りたい?

Y:
それは、 わたしが世界の人たちに尋ねたい質問。
そうね、やっぱり太陽暦かなぁ。
でも年初には共通の目安になる日をあてる、紀元前後に0年をとって、
年月を前後に数学的に計りやすくする、
そして、一宗教や一国の記念ではなく、
地球社会の出発点としての紀元を決める、
などの工夫を加えるかな。

あ、それから、暦にはかならず新月・満月・上弦・下弦の月のシンボルを
相当する日に入れ込むの。
それぞれの地域に相当する季節の名をそれらの日に被せてね。
彗星やその他の天体現象の予測も入ってるといいな。
天体と地球と暮らしのつながりが もっと感じられるかもしれないから。

F:
ワハハ、全部の暦の総合版だ。 地球語的な考えだね。

ん、 わたしはだけど、暦なんかいらんよ。
太陽や月や星とは、直接毎日しっかりつき合いつづけているからね。


Referred to:
★  『暦と占いの科学』永田久著、新潮選書、平成4年

『天文不思議集』ジャン・ピエール・ブェルデ著、荒俣宏監修、創元社、知の再発見叢書09、1992

★ 旧暦のしくみ
http://homepage2.nifty.com/o-tajima/rekidaso/calendar.htm#01

(c) Yoshiko McFarland (March 1st, '04)

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