Season’s topic – Sound of cicadas (2017-08-23)

If you are traveling in Japan now, you must hear the sound of cicadas. Is that noisy for you? The sound is just one of back ground music in summer for Japanese, though.


There are about thirty species of cicadas in Japan, among which fourteen are found in the main land except Southwestern islands.


The commonest is Large Brown Cicada (Abura-zemi, Graptopsaltria nigrofuscata) buzzing as ziiiiii zi zi zi….., or ziriziriziriziri….



They had five eyes. Can you identify three ruby dots between two large eyes? Although Webmaster doesn’t remember exactly, one Japanese poet expresses that “Large Brown Cicada must be a prince because he puts a crown with three rubies……..”



They live as an imago only for a few weeks, but have stayed underground as a nymph for six year. These photos below are of the shells after molting.



This is another common cicada called minmin-zemi (Hyalessa maculaticollis) which has transparent wings. It buzzes as miiiing ming ming mii… which is the origin of its name.



Once, Webmaster heard a funny story about the sound of cicadas. When some Japanese TV companies exported movies (dramas) to Europe, the European clients who were also TV companies often complained that the movies had noise. In fact that was the sound of cicadas as sound effects for summer scenes. Japanese side learned that the sound of cicada is not common there, and since then cut the sound off when exporting.