Plum Rain


What’s the connection of rainy season to plums? For those of you in Japan, I am a bit envious. We could use some rain in England right now (except it would ruin the tennis at Wimbledon).


  1. I think the kanji for tsuyu refers to the fact that the ripening of the plums coincides with coming of the monsoon (perhaps assisted or hastened by the rain)…

  2. Todd, thanks for that. Sounds like a good theory.
    Anyone else care to back up this theory?
    I asked a Japanese person this question today and he was stumped 😉

  3. I’ve asked many of my Japanese co-workers (maybe 6 or so now) and none of them have a good answer! The most plausible one echoes Todd’s result, and I’m assured that it’s a very old word (so even if the ripening of plums is no longer relevant, it’s still associated with the rainy season).
    I have to wonder, though… where is all the rain we’ve been promised? I thought the rainy season was supposed to be, um, rainy?

  4. Hi there Owen. Thanks for taking such an interest and asking all your colleagues. I wonder when Japanese people learn kanji compounds whether they ever question their origins.
    At times in Japan I also wondered why rainy season wasn’t all that rainy. Maybe that’s because I’m a Londoner =)

  5. Hi there.
    Im from Poland. I learn japanese since 10.2004 (its only 2times (2*1,5h) per week :(( ) I will try to pass LVL 4 this year.
    I reached this site from google – I was serching something about JLPT (copies of one if there are :P) and google gave me link to your post from december 2004 – post about your thoughts before within and after JLPT lvl 2 exam. That post interested me alot so i started to read your site and decided to write that short comment 😉
    Ja omedetou cos you passed as you said in a post from 02.2005 🙂 lvl 2 -> i would like to pass it some day but as you said in some other post (word post used too many times 😉 ) i will probably have to go to japan and use that great language more often (“get my heands dirty” 😉 ).I mean i would love to go to and live in japan but its little bit takai desu 😉
    Will you try to pass level 1 ?
    ja mata
    ps. Im sorry for my weak english :/
    ps2. I will step by from time to time cos your thoghts and those little facts about japanese (for example the one with 50 000 en) interested me alot 🙂

  6. Lotrzyna, thanks a lot for taking the time to read my site and for commenting. It’s always nice to hear when your efforts are appreciated.
    I am not sure if I will take the JLPT Level 1 this year or not. Maybe I should try it just to see how tough it is. Good luck with level 4 and hope to see you on the site again.

  7. 梅の実が熟する(ジュクスル)頃に降る雨だから「梅雨」だそうですって友達が昨日教えてくれました。