Sunday, June 05, 2005

Rainy Season Begins!

(Tsuyu ga hajimaru!)

"Tsuyu" (aka "baiu") is the rainy season. It's not like the monsoon season that happens farther south in Asia, but more like a low pressure system that rests over Japan for a month and a half giving us drizzling rain a lot of the time. It does pour, and it certainly did on Saturday but that's not the way it always is. Some years, apparrently, they have had rainy seasons that are all talk and no action: The clouds sit over the country for a month, but there is little to no rain. They call it an "empty" rainy season.

The rain is welcome now, too. As one of the third year students wrote in her journal last week, "Recently, there is no rainy, so the valley is whither."

The kanji for "tsuyu" are plumb and rain put together. Why? It's the season when the plums ripen.

Pictured above: The view from my window. From Saturday's rain, the Katsuura river now has twice as much water as it has had for the last month.


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