Kyoto Before Summer Birds

  • Kyoto Before Summer Birds 00:00

The summer sun starts to sting the skin in Kyoto. Spring is about to end after the month of May. After almost two months of travelling Japan from the central to the northern parts, after that to the south reaching Nagasaki, I went back to Kyoto to rest before going to Tokyo to end the research. The bright sun makes the atmosphere feel different, because the heat from the sun sucks a lot of energy from our body, I decided to record from dusk until night time.

This is the sound of Eurasian tree sparrows that were flying around amongst the branches at the side of the Sanjo-Dori road, Kyoto. In Japanese, this bird is called suzume. In Indonesia, this kind of bird is called “Burung Gereja”. The birds were chirping along with the sound of people talking and engines roaring. These species of bird can be easily found in urban areas.

Suzume is very popular amongst Japanese people. It is also generally found since it lives mostly near human population. Hokusai used them as the main character in some of his paintings. The appearance of suzume in traditional Japanese paintings is common. Not just in paintings, but also in literature. Matsuo Basho also wrote about suzume in a haiku. There is also a fable titled “Shita-kiri Suzume” that tells a story about an elderly man befriending a suzume.

The sound of suzume does not have many varieties. These birds just chirp continuously among the tree branches. Their song is not as good as uguisu. However, suzume is very closly related with historic narrative of Japanese people.

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Sounds: Japan