The Japanese Art of Living Seasonally by Natalie Leon

From £18.99

Written by Japanologist Natalie Leon, this beautiful guide unlocks the secrets of Japan’s seasonal culture to help you relish the seasons wherever you are.

Published 14 May 2024

About the Book…

Since the Heian period, nature has permeated every aspect of Japanese culture in myriad ways; the Japanese literally eat, sleep and wear the seasons, from kimono motifs to seasonal sweets and annual festivals dedicated to the moon’s beauty or the blooming of flowers. This celebration of nature leads to a deep awareness of the seasons, called kisetsukan.

In this book, Japanologist and seasonality expert Natalie Leon explains the hidden depths of kisetsukan and shares how seasonal living can be incorporated into our own lives. Through 12 key concepts, such as shun, focusing on eating seasonally, Kasane, the language of colour, and mottainai, zero-waste living, this treasure trove of folktales, recipes and activities is an invitation to mark and appreciate each passing season:

– Design your own beautiful new year’s cards, make a snow rabbit, and watch out for the first plum blossoms of the year during Oshogatsu (New Year).
Practise hanami, the ritual of flower viewing, and celebrate spring blossoming trees around the world. Make edible dried petals for sweets or compose a haiku to celebrate the ephemeral beauty of spring.
Discover the way of the water, or mizu, through Japanese river spirits and ocean goddesses. Try spring rain rituals or take an onsen-inspired bath in the winter.
Experience the seasons through your local trees by trying shinrin yoku, the self-care practice of forest bathing. Learn unique Japanese tree-related words, including korembi, which refers to the rays of light that filter down through leaves.

About the Author…

Natalie Leon is a Japanologist, freelance writer and student of Chanoyu, The Way of Tea. She has consulted for NHK, Japan’s national broadcasting organisation, and the Ezen Foundation, a philanthropic organisation dedicated to advancing the appreciation of Japanese art. She has an academic background specialising in Japanese art history and traditional culture, including an MA in Japanese Studies from SOAS, London.

Over the past eight years, Natalie has handpicked yuzu in Kochi, slept in a Buddhist monastery on Koyasan, celebrated countless hanami’s, attended a fox wedding in Kyoto, hunted the autumn leaves in Osaka, foraged for sansai in Yamagata and experienced an earthquake in Kumamoto.




Natalie Leon



Page Count



14 May 2024


Watkins Publishing

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