Fireflies: a mystery solved!

One of my favorite moments in The Same Moon, my memoir of two years spent regrouping — and teaching — in rural Japan, is a June evening I spent with a friend and her family at their farmhouse in Yamaguchi, Japan. After our make-your-own sushi supper, we wandered outside to the nearby river to view the fireflies. 

In that scene, which also was published in an essay in The Christian Science Monitor, I observed,  

“… It was as if there were a leader in the group, saying, ”Sei, no – on! … Sei, no – off!” I laughed to myself, thinking how Japanese fireflies seemed to function like Japanese people, in groups. As a foreigner in a homogenous culture, I felt a certain kinship with the few bugs I saw blinking on the offbeat. …”

Well, science has as last confirmed my suspicions: Yes — groups of fireflies do indeed sync up their flashes! Learn more from this piece in The New York Times.


To visit more about rural Japan … writing … the JET Program … getting past an early-life crisis … etc., join me for an author event about my memoir, The Same Moon, on Thursday, July 22, with USJETAA! Learn more and register here:

Firefly photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

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