Kyoto Before Summer Frogs

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  • Kyoto Before Summer Frogs 00:00
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There is a Japanese children song titled “Kaeru no Uta Ga”. This short song tells a story about a frog. The lyrics are simple, it goes like this:

Kaeru no uta ga
Kikoete kuru yo
Gwa, gwa, gwa, gwa,
gero, gero, gero, gero,
gwa, gwa, gwa

This translates to:

The singing of frogs, we can hear them
Gwa, gwa, gwa, gwa,
gero, gero, gero, gero,
gwa, gwa, gwa

Other than noticing frogs through our sight, we usually notice them through their ”song”. You do not need to see them when hearing their sound is enough. Gero gero or kero kero is the onmatopeia in Japanese culture for frog sounds. The sounds of frogs are not something peculiar for any country in the world, except for maybe Antarctica.

One night, when I was sleeping in Kyoto, I was not able to fall asleep quickly. In the middle of the night, the sound of frogs around me sounded clearer. Although I did not want to leave my bed, I could not resist the temptation to record the sound of frogs in this summer night. At last, I got up, grabbed my recording equipment, and opened the window to start recording.

While focusing on recording the frog sound, I was startled by a sound of a woman singing while passing the next alley. I was not able to get a view of her. Just like the frogs, she was only present in the form of sound.

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