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some seasonal Japanese words

I like the seasonality of Japanese culture. I didn't have a chance to celebrate Tanabata recently, but here's a little list of summertime Japanese words/concepts that find interesting, in honor of the season (sorry, southern-hemispherites):

じめじめ damp and humid; sodden; wet; clammy
炎天 【えんてん】 blazing sky
朝涼 【あさすず】 morning cool
夕立 【ゆうだち】 sudden (summer) shower [literally "evening shower"]
雲海 【うんかい】 sea of clouds [in the mountains]
麦茶 【むぎちゃ】 barley tea [I think I'll brew some more this evening, in fact]
虫干 【むしぼし】 airing out [books, clothing, etc., after the rainy season]
端居 【はしい】 cooling on the threshold/porch/veranda [literally "being on the threshold"]
潮焼 【しおやけ】 sea-side burn [literally "tidal burn"; sunburn and windburn from being on or near the ocean]
雨蛙 【あまがえる】 tree frog [literally "rain frog"]
蛍火 【ほたるび】 firefly glow

I found almost all of these words at the Japanese Haiku Topical Dictionary. I'm currently taking a class at the Japan-America Society's language school, but we aren't learning such obscure words in class.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 16th, 2007 02:00 am (UTC)
These are great; thank you for posting them!
Jul. 17th, 2007 05:58 am (UTC)
I appreciate the hiragana. :)

What do you use to input the characters? Do you use a Japanese keyboard layout?
Jul. 17th, 2007 06:04 am (UTC)
For this entry, I looked up the words online and copy-and-pasted them. When I want to type out my Japanese class homework, I'll use the Japanese IME (on Windows) or yudit (on Linux).
Jul. 17th, 2007 06:13 am (UTC)
Did you know the kanji?

You have a remarkable command over markup language. :) I think that's the first use I've seen of the abbreviation tag.
Jul. 17th, 2007 06:24 am (UTC)
I knew about 40% of the kanji there (e.g., the "sky" in "blazing sky", the "tea" in "barley tea").

Not only am I a fan of the abbreviation tag, but I'm scrupulous about distinguishing between abbreviations and acronyms. :)
Jul. 17th, 2007 06:40 am (UTC)
There isn't an acronym tag, is there?
Jul. 17th, 2007 06:59 am (UTC)
Indeed there is. My impression is that until recently the acronym tag enjoyed more widespread browser support than the abbr tag, in terms of browsers automatically providing cues like dash-underlines and a mouseover pop-up showing the expanded phrase.
Jul. 17th, 2007 07:11 am (UTC)
I've only seen that type of thing used for ad purposes. :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )