You may have heard that there are four seasons in Japan. Well, it’s not true. I think I’ve mentioned it before – last time I said 5.5 – but there are 6. A couple of amusing pieces from The Rising Wasabi have drawn attention to the way people love to tell you there are 4 seasons in Japan. However, most of those people can’t count, because there are two times of year when they will not tell you that it’s summer, autumn (or fall), winter or spring.
The rainy season, 梅雨 tsuyu, is one of my less favourite seasons. It comes in June for most of the country (later up north), after spring and before summer. Yes, technically it’s summer, but everyone’s like, ‘nah summer hasn’t started yet, it’s still the rainy season’. It’s beautiful to look at, and nice for hydrangeas and frogs, and mould, if you like mould. Also sweat. When you’re working in it, in classrooms with 40 kids and no air conditioning or fans, it’s kind of gross. Occasionally there are typhoons in June. The good thing about working in it, at least in this part of the country, is that sometimes they decide it’s too wet and there might be a landslide, and they cancel school. Of course, teachers still have to go to school, and school lunch is cancelled too, and they have to make up those classes another time… but they don’t always get to call in the ALT on those occasions, especially if they’re in the middle of the summer ‘vacation.’
We are now in typhoon season, a.k.a. the other rainy season. No, I haven’t heard anyone else call it that. September is the official typhoon season. The supermarkets and 100-yen shops have their autumn/Halloween decorations up, but nobody’s going leaf-viewing yet. Like tsuyu, typhoon season has the appeal of the chance of school being cancelled, but the drawback of dangerous storms where people die. I like it when school is cancelled and then the storm doesn’t show up, or at least doesn’t cause any damage. Look what this rain did to my poor little lettucelets.