Today is the first day of Tsuyu, the beginning of rainy season in southern Japan. Spring is in its full glory and gentle, warm rain has been falling all day.
It will rain here every day for the next 6-7 weeks, during which time we will get about 60-90 centimeters (2-3 feet) of rain.
Tsuyu is an integral part of culture and rhythms of life in Japan. It changes the look of the cities and landscapes and brings life to lush vegetation.
A Poet’s View
Here is a famous haiku poem about rain by Yosa-no-Buson (1716 – 1784).
The pond and the river
Have become one
Ike to kawa
hitotsu ni narinu
haru no ame
Picture to the right was taken from the banks of Oyodu River running through Miyazaki city.
Japanese have specialized words to describe different kinds of rain. The Tsuyu season rain is called sami-dareh (五月雨), characterized as naga-ame (長雨, long rain) and shito-shito (しとしと, one-by-one, gentle drizzle, pattering.)
Other words to describe different kinds of rain are:
Kiri-same ( 霧雨): Misty rain
Ko-same (小雨): Light rain
O-ame (大雨): Heavy rain
Gou-u ( 豪雨): Torrential rain