Biology and Art - February 2024

This month’s contribution comes from Eisaku Umeda, a first-year master student studying mathematical biology. Eisaku is interested in science fiction novels, like “Neuromancer” written by William Gibson.

10 February – World Pulses Day

The number one event using beans is Japanese Setsubun, but you may not know much about bean ecology. The pulses grow well in areas with less water and can survive in dry conditions. They are eaten worldwide and are an essential source of minerals and proteins. If you like natto, eat miso soup or tofu, you can become a researcher studying plant ecology, but you will not learn much about Setsubun celebrations here.
世界でもっとも有名な豆を用いたイベントは節分ですが、豆の生態についてはあまり知らないのではないですか? 豆類は水分の少ない地域でもよく育ち、乾燥した環境でも生存できます。そのため、豆類は重要なミネラル・たんぱく源として世界中で食されています。もし納豆やみそ汁、豆腐が好きなら、植物生態学者になれるでしょう。ここでは、節分についてはあまり学べないかもしれませんが。

The rules are simple: 5-7-5, there is no seasonal reference word (a kigo), but your poem must relate to either biology or the topic of the month, and you are writing in English.
Therefore, Eisaku’s haiku for this month is:

Birds dive down and bow
pecking at the beans and peas;
luck came into a house.


WORDS to learn this month are:
bean ecology - 豆の生態, minerals and proteins - ミネラルと タンパク質