For many people in Japan, there’s no more welcome sound than the incredibly loud whining buzz of the seasonal insects.
Japanese culture has a deep appreciation for the changing of the seasons. That’s why you’ll often hear people waxing poetic about koyo, the red leaves of autumn, yukimiburo, open-air hot springs surrounded by blankets of snow in winter, and sakura, the cherry blossoms that bloom each spring.
Oh, and of course, the mi-n mi-n of summer, referring to cries of the cicadas. Yes, the loud buzzing of the creepy-looking insects, which to the uninitiated can sound like the whine of electrical power lines, is music to the ears of many Japanese people.
▼ As proof, here’s a 90-minute video made up of pretty much nothing but cicada cries that has over four and a half million views.
So why does Japan have such a soft spot for cicada (or semi, as they’re called in Japanese) sounds? To get a better idea, I asked the members of our Japanese-language writing team.