Like the Song of a Cicada
In Japan, hearing the sometimes deafening song of the “semi”—the Japanese word for cicada—symbolizes the arrival of summer. There are about thirty different species of cicadas in Japan, and each makes a specific sound, described phonetically through the use of such onomatopoetic words as gingin, washiwashi and tsukutsuku.
The “Tanna japonensis” species, also known as the evening cicada or “kanakana-semi,” is often heard at the end of the summer or early autumn, and its sound is softer and more melancholy than the one produced on a sultry mid-summer afternoon. As the days and nights become cooler, the song of the cicada appears to gradually lose its intensity.