The semi is not a pretty bug, and neither is the shell it leaves behind. After spending 7 years underground, this brown tank-like critter fights its way to the Earth's surface. It sheds its carapace and lives the wild and free life for 7 thrilling days. Its song--a shrill and prolonged miii-miii--is the sound of summer.
This is one of the lucky ones. It made its way to the Earth's surface in a gorgeous, wooded, suburban park.
Nine generations ago, the silent summers--the summers when semi don't sing--began.
When the bugs were put to bed beneath the Earth in 1938, they expected to wake up like every generation before them and emerge into a hot, drowsy city of wooden buildings with paper shutters and reed floors. There were supposed to be little boys in summer kimono running around trying to catch them in their cheesecloth and bamboo nets. Trees should have been waiting for them to cling to while they shed their shells and prepared to fly. It should have been summer, and their's should have been the clarion cry of summertime.
Instead, seven years later in their year--1945--Tokyo was aflame. Houses burned, people burned, and of course even the bugs buried underground burned. It took many generations before the sound of a semi in a summer of a year that was 1945 plus 7 was heard again.
Seven years of preparation and then...disaster.
If it's bad for a bug, how much worse for a child ready to take its first steps in life, only to find the world it was born into devoured by the flames of war.