How do you explain what tsuyu is in English?



梅の雨は、日本の季節をす言葉 “Plum rain” is the word that expresses a season in Japan

The rainy season, tsuyu, lasts from the beginning of June to mid-July in mainland Japan. It affects Okinawa about a month earlier but does not reach Hokkaido. Tsuyu literally means plum rain. One of the reasons why it's called tsuyu is that it occurs when plums are ripening. The phrase “plum rain” therefore embodies various aspects of Japan in this season.



気象庁も予測不能 Even the weather bureau cannot forecast it properly

The weather bureau announces the beginning and the end of tsuyu every year, but sometimes they are uncertain of exactly when it will start or when it has finished and so they have to make their announcements afterward. During tsuyu it does not rain every day, but the weather varies from intensive downpours to occasional sprinkles. It tends to be very humid so people avoid hanging the laundry outside and are watchful for any signs of mold. The Japanese tend to dislike the effects of the season on their daily life, while enjoying its cultural traditions.


気象庁は梅雨入りと梅雨明けを発しますが、時に予報ができずに既に梅雨に入ってからや梅雨が開けてから発することもあります。 梅雨の期間は毎日雨というわけではなく、集中的な豪雨の時もあれば、時々しとしと雨のことも。とても湿気が高い季節のため、洗濯物を外に干すことは避け、黴(かび)などにも注意を払います。そのため生活面ではこの季節を嫌う人も多くみられるものの、文化的な伝統から楽しむ面もあるのです……。

梅雨だからこそ美しい文化  Beautiful cultural matters in the rainy season

Some sights, such as wooden temples, gardens and old houses are rather attractive in the season's rain and mist and these conditions make for an atmospheric visit. The appreciation of the light and shadow of such settings is celebrated in many aspects of Japanese culture from architecture to food. Some architecture is constructed to facilitate the enjoyment of the sound of raindrops. Also, people enjoy seeing hydrangeas in the rain.





Tsuyu is the rainy season in early summer in Japan. It starts around the beginning of June and ends in mid-July. Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan, is least affected by the rainy season.





カナダ・オーストラリアに留学ののち、ボストン大学コミュニケーション学部修士課程ジャーナリズム専攻、東北大学博士前期課程人間社会情報科学専攻修了。通信社の国際金融情報部、出版社にて国内・海外の取材記事や交渉ほかを担当。海外通販会社の役員を経て、諸媒体の翻訳・執筆・プロデュース などを手がける。 著書に『コトバのギフト~輝く女性の100名言』(講談社)、『スティーブ・ジョブズに学ぶ英語プレゼン』(日経BP社)ほか多数。仕事と趣味で旅した国は50カ国を超える。