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The "72 Seasons" Calendar App

The Beautiful Living Research Lab, a joint project established by Dentsu and Japanese publishing company Heibonsha in November 2010, developed the mobile device app “72 Seasons – A year seen through the ancient Japanese calendar,” released on December 8, 2015. This calendar app, designed for overseas visitors to Japan, provides content in English to learn about and enjoy traditional Japanese lifestyle and culture through the changing seasons.

“72 Seasons” is an English version of “Everyday Life Almanac,” a free Japanese calendar app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices with more than 350,000 downloads. Like its Japanese counterpart, “72 Seasons” divides the yearly calendar into the 24 solar terms and 72 seasons observed in Japan since ancient times. Designed to resemble a traditional Japanese scroll that unrolls horizontally, the app provides explanations of the 72 seasonal terms that express the rhythm of nature, along with photos and illustrations showing haiku poetry, seasonal foods, and other content that allows users to immerse themselves in the Japanese lifestyle and culture of each season. The app is updated every five days.

The number of overseas visitors to Japan is expected to increase considerably in the future. We developed “72 Seasons” to meet the increasing need for content to introduce Japan to inbound tourists. The app is valuable for people around the world seeking deeper knowledge of Japan, and is also ideal for Japanese to explain Japan to friends overseas.

The main difference with the original Japanese app is that the scroll is read from the opposite direction. Because of the nature of each language and for ease of reading, the Japanese version is written vertically and read from right to left, while in the English version the text is horizontal and moves from left to right. The most difficult part of the translation was the traditional Japanese haiku poetry. A direct translation could not convey the entire meaning, so the poems were freely translated as verses. Our aim was to evoke the same mental picture and feelings as when reading the haiku in Japanese. Throughout the project it was necessary to explain aspects that were ordinary for Japanese, and we took care to balance thoughtfulness with simplicity.

The “72 Seasons” app has been downloaded around 6,000 times in the two months since its release. We were also extremely delighted to receive messages from overseas users requesting the content be compiled in book form. The Beautiful Living Research Lab is using apps to convey Japanese culture overseas, and developing this app as a new type of inbound media. We are also making proposals and selling customized content based on “72 Seasons” to companies and local governments.


Overview of the "72 Seasons" Mobile Device Application

Name: 72 Seasons –A year seen through the ancient Japanese calendar–
Price: Free of charge
Platforms: iOS and Android
Download URLs: iOS
https://itunes.apple.com/app/72-seasons/id1059622777?ls=1&mt=8
Android
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.co.heibonsha.app.koyomi_en

App Logo:

App Logo


Screenshots of the app:

Screenshots of the app


PR banner for the app:

PR banner for the app


App Description: http://www.kurashikata.com/72seasons/

Project members

Hirokazu Tanaka

Hirokazu Tanaka

Executive Producer
Project Promotion Department1
Business Creation Center
Dentsu Inc.

Eiko Kanba

Eiko Kanba

Senior Communication Design Manager
Project Promotion Department2
Business Creation Center
Dentsu Inc.

Lika Tanaka

Lika Tanaka

Chief Planner
Marketing Directors' Office4
Strategic Planning Division
Dentsu Inc.

Risako Kifune

Risako Kifune

Planner
Project Promotion Department2
Business Creation Center
Dentsu Inc.

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