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Tweet of the Week #91: A Never Ending Rainy Season

もう雨ヤダァアアアアアアアア!!!

By 3 min read

As if 2020 wasn’t already bad enough, Japan had to put up with torrential rain, deadly floods, and what feels like a never-ending rainy season. The only ray of light amid the clouds, Japan could have its first typhoon-free July since records started in 1951.

The rainy season is called 梅雨つゆ(also ばいう) in Japanese, which translates to “plum rain.” It begins from late May to mid-June and lasts through July. The season coincides with the ripening of Japan’s plums picked to make plum liquor (梅酒うめしゅ) and pickled plums (梅干うめぼ).

During this period, Japan experiences weeks of rain and unpredictable weather. Temperatures aren’t that hot, but the humidity reaches unbearable highs, molding your clothes and making physical activity very sweaty.

When does the rainy season end?!

Japan enters the beginning of the rainy season (梅雨入つゆい) when the Japanese Meteorological Agency says it does. This is usually after observing a string of rainy days and unsettled weather. The season ends (梅雨明つゆあ) when, well, the rain stops and the weather gets hot and sunny.

https://twitter.com/kanahei_/status/1287661886897451008?s=20

けそうで明けない梅雨の明け

=

“Waiting for the rainy season to end.”

But this year around, tsuyu seems to have no end. Tokyo saw a record 18th straight day of rain and no sunlight, a first since 1988. But Tokyo folks got it easy compared to the hardships people living in southwestern and central Japan went through. The extreme heavy rainfalls triggered severe floods, overflowing rivers, and mudslides.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that everyone in Japan is, for once, longing for hot summer days to start.

もうあめヤダァアアアアアアアア!!!

なつきてないし7月しちがつわるじゃん!!!

=

“I can’t put up with the rain anymore!!!!!

It’s not summer, but isn’t July ending!?!!!”

今週末こんしゅうまつには梅雨明けの予報よほう

だけど今日きょう大雨おおあめ

はやく梅雨明けてくれ〜笑

=

“The end of the rainy season has been forecast for this weekend,

But today it’s raining a lot!

Please, make the rainy season end soon! lol”

ミケちゃん「ちょっとまえはやすらぎさんが時間じかんはおそとあかるかったけど今はくらいわ。なんだか今年ことしは梅雨が明けるころには夏をとうしてあきになってそう……。」

=

“Mike-chan, ‘A while ago, around the time [my neighbor] came, it was bright outside, but now it’s dark. Somehow this year, when the rainy season will end, summer will have past by, and we’ll be in autumn…'”

Talking about rain in Japanese

The Japanese language lists over 400 words to talk extensively about rain. Lucky for you, the majority of them are mostly cultural expressions that you will not find outside of books and poems. So we’ve selected keywords that Japanese folks use daily to talk about rainy days all year long. Let’s first have a quick overview of seasonal rains, because as one should know, Japan has four seasons.

  • 秋雨あきさめ: autumnal rain
  • 氷雨ひさめ: chilly rain, from the end of autumn till early winter
  • 凍雨とうう: winter rain
  • 春時雨はるしぐれ: gentle spring rain
  • 五月雨さみだれ: early summer rain
  • 夕立ゆうだち: summer afternoon rain

If you check the Japan Meteorological Agency website, you’ll learn how precise Japanese people can be when it comes to the wet weather.

1時間雨量いちじかんうりょう

Hourly precipitation (mm)

予報用語よほうようご

Words used in forecast

ひとけるイメージ

How folks perceive the rain

10以上いじょう

20未満みまん

(above 10 mm up to 20)

ややつよい雨

Moderate heavy rain

ザーザーと

Falling down hard

20以上~

30未満

(above 20 mm up to 30)

強い雨

Heavy rain

どしゃ

Downpour

30以上~

50未満

(above 30 mm up to 50)

はげしい雨

Torrential rain

バケツをひっくりかえしたように降る

Rain is pouring like from a bucket

50以上~

80未満

(above 50 mm up to 80)

非常ひじょう

激しい雨

Extreme torrential rain

たきのように降る(ゴーゴーとつづく)

Rain is falling like a waterfall (it keeps pouring down)

80以上~

(above 80 mm)

猛烈もうれつな雨

Ferocious rain storm

息苦いきぐるしくなるような圧迫感あっぱくかんがある。恐怖きょうふかんじる

The pressure makes you feel breathless. You feel afraid.

While the vocabulary above is used by weather forecast programs, most folks will use the following words:

  • 小雨こさめ: light rain or drizzle and its antonym, 大雨おおあめ: heavy rain
  • 小降こぶり: light rain and its antonym, どしゃ: heavy rain
  • 俄雨にわかあめ: rain shower

While we all wait for the sunny days, this umbrella seems to be an excellent idea, and we’d love to give it a try!

https://twitter.com/After100days/status/1288233822664839168?s=20

このかさはじめてたwwwwしいwwww

=

“First time seeing such an umbrella lol Neeeeed lol”

Vocabulary

Japanese Romaji English
machi waiting
わる owaru end
予報よほう yohou forecast
あかるい akarui clear
くら kurai dark
verb+ ころ koro ni by the time/around the time when + verb
とお toorikosu pass
しい hoshii want/need

 

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