There are four beautiful seasons in Japan. In the world, countries that have four seasons, are only located in an area called the middle latitude zone, approximately 30~40 degrees of the north/ south latitude. Because of the Yangtze-Kiang air mass in the spring and autumn, The Sea of Okhotsk air mass during the rainy season, Ogasawara air mass in the summer and Siberia air mass in the winter Japan has four clearly different seasons.
We are happy to live in a country with four seasons. Through the changes of the seasons, we Japanese can realize the mutability of life and can feel unconsciously the transmigration of the seasons.
The British missionary, Walter Weston (1861-1940) who visited Japan in Meiji 21(1888) and made “The Japanese Alps” famous in the world, talks about Japan in the book “Take a trip to the unknown Japan” in this way: ‘It is said in the world that humanity is evaluated by the attitude of that person toward nature. If this is correct, the Japanese are unique in the world. Japanese people have naturally a strong attachment to nature, and I have never seen other people where this is so spread out among people.’
Edward S Morse (the American zoologist who discovered “Shell-mound of Ohmori”) wrote in his diary with surprise about all Japanese people’s love for nature as follows: ‘Foreigners, staying in Japan for several months begin to notice such a thing little by little. In other words, regardless of the social position, I thought the Japanese seems to have a good character by nature, compared to the strong moral education in the name of humanity in the U.S.A. Simple clothes, neat houses, clear environment, love for nature, pure and attractive art, polite manners, consideration for other people’s feelings･･･these are characteristics that not only people in the upper social classes but also the poorest people have.’