By Eric Larsen
If you haven’t noticed—just days after the hot weather finally arrived, the temperature dropped and it got rainier… That’s right, we’ve entered the “rainy season” for Aomori prefecture. Most of you from the US probably didn’t experience a rainy season, but Aomori has the perfect climate— and thus for a month or so (in June, usually) we must learn to live with/in the rain! Here are some rainy words to start up a weather-friendly conversation (Pro-tip: most ANY Japanese will talk to you if you open with the weather!).
梅雨、つゆ [tsuyu]：rainy season
こぬか雨、こぬかあめ [konuka ame]：light rain, drizzle
土砂降り、どしゃぶり [doshaburi]：pouring rain/heavy rain (Note 1: it’s a noun- try “どしゃぶりになる” [doshaburi ni naru] for a verb. Note 2: ぶり is a modified version of ふり, the word for rainfall)
暴風雨、ぼうふうう [boufuu u]：storm (rain and strong wind) (Note: 雨 can be read う [u].)
ざーざー [zaa-zaa]： the sound of heavy rainfall (onomatopoeia/adverb: ざーざーふってる [zaa-zaa futteru]= it’s raining cats and dogs!).
狐の嫁入り、きつねのよめいり [kitsune no yomeiri]：literally—a fox’s marriage. It means “a rain-shower while it’s sunny out.”
So armed with a sturdy umbrella, get out there and strike up a conversation with a teacher, friend, or stranger about the weather. Trust me, you’ll earn cool-points by talking about the weather.
Wanna share your nihongo knowledge? Send us your favorite slang, dialectal phrases and study habits to firstname.lastname@example.org