Rainy Season (tsuyu)


Rainy Season (tsuyu 梅雨)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Mid-Summer
***** Category: various


The rainy season is part and parcel of a farmer's life in Japan, some haiku masters even consider it a season in itself. There are many kigo related to this time, we will explore some of them here.

In 2005, we have parts of Northern Japan almost flooded with seasonal rain, whereas in Western Japan, where I live, there has not been a decent drop of rain for weeks on end, the terraced rice fields are dry and the rice could not be planted.

I have written about the Gods of the Elements,which make our life so unpredictable.

Also refer to this entry for more about the rains:
WHC World Kigo Database: Rain in various kigo

leaves dancing
in the forest mist -
may rain

The rainy season lasts usually from early June till the middle of July. Most days are cloudy and we have strong showers, sometimes on a daily bases. TSUYU, bai-u 梅雨, literally means "Rain on the Plums", because these fruit are ripe now and farmers prepare dried plums (umeboshi) as a staple for the summer.

Now let us look at the kigo.

Gabi Greve


Kigo for the Season

beginning of the rainy season, nyuubai 入梅, tsuyuiri 梅雨入, tsuyu hajimaru 梅雨はじまる
entering into the rainy season, tsuyu ni iru 梅雨にいる
feeling like the rainy season is coming, tsuyu no kehai 梅雨の気配
feeling cold during the rainy season, tsuyu samu 梅雨寒, tsuyu samushi, tsuyubie 梅雨冷, samuki tsuyu寒き梅雨

This used to be the14th day of the 5th lunar month as a haiku season, but now it would be
6th of June.
The actual date varies from year to year.

humid heat, sultry, mushiatsushi (mushiatsui) 蒸し暑し/ 蒸暑
..... shissho 湿暑 ... jokusho じょくしょ 溽暑
humidity, shikke 湿気
... toward the end of the rainy season (late summer)

end of the rainy season, tsuyu-ake 梅雨明け, tsuyu agaru 梅雨あがる
after the rainy season, tsuyu no ato 梅雨のあと


Kigo for the Heavens

sky of the rainy season, tsuyuzora 梅雨空,
................................tsuyu no sora 梅雨の空,
"plum sky", baiten 梅天

sky of the fifth month, satsukizora 皐月空 (old lunar calendar)
stars of the rainy season, tsuyu no hoshi 梅雨の星
moon of the rainy season,tsuyu no tsuki 梅雨の月
clouds of the rainy season, tsuyugumo 梅雨雲, tsuyugumori 梅雨雲り: kigo for mid-summer
.............................................satsukigumo 皐月雲

rain in May before the rainy season, "running rainy season"
......hashirizuyu 走り梅雨, tsuyu no hashiri 梅雨の走り
before the rainy season, maezuyu 前梅雨
welcoming the rainy season, mukaezuru 迎え梅雨

rainy season, tsuyu 梅雨、bai-u 
rainfront of the season bai-u zensen 梅雨前線
............ ( a word used in the weather forecast)
time of the rainy season, tsuyudoki 梅雨時

humid southern wind, shippuu 湿風
..... onpuu 温風
In late summer, toward the end of the rainy season, bringing wet air from the ocean.

green rainy season, aotsuyu 青梅雨
..... (rain on the green leaves of the forest)

wild rainy season, arazuyu 荒梅雨
thunder during rainy season, tsuyu kaminari 梅雨雷, tsuyu no rai梅雨の雷 (kigo for mid-summer)

no rain in the season, empty rainy season、karatsuyu 空梅雨
..... drought in the rainy season, hideritsuyu 旱梅雨
..... karetsuyu 涸梅雨

bacteria rain, bai-u 黴梅雨
..... (we have a lot of mold during the season)

spell of fine weather during the rainy season, tsuyu harema 梅雨晴れ間
..... tsuyubare 梅雨晴、tsuyu no hare 梅雨の晴, tsuyu haru 梅雨晴る

satsukibare 五月晴 さつきばれ fine weather in the fifth lunar month
(the period of the rainy season)

Worldwide use



Nun dringt die Schwüle
selbst in grünenden Schatten
ermattender Schlaf

Beate Conrad, Germany, 2009



Monsoon ..(India, South Asia) a season in itself in India.
Rains – called Varsha - in the months of Shravan and Bhadrapad, approximately July and August .

Things found on the way


nyûbai ya kani kake-aruku ôzashiki

rainy season--
a crab strolls into
the sitting room


Tr. by David Lanoue. There are more haiku by Issa:


tsuyu-ake ni kokoro harebare aoi sora

rainy season is over -
my heart is all shining
the sky so blue

.. .. ..

aitakute aenai mama ni tsuyu ake

wanting to meet you
but it was not ment to be -
rainy season is over

(Tr. Gabi Greve)


waniguchi no nibuki hibiki ya hashirizuyu

the sound of the temple gong
so different -
rainy season is coming

内山照久 Uchiyama Teruhisa
(Tr. Gabi Greve)

On this link there are many more haiku about the coming rainy season.

waniguchi , crocodile mouht, is a flat temple gong, which looks like the open mouth of a crocodile. Some musicians say instruments sound more flat during the rains.

See my story about Jindai-Ji Temple and Daruma


kodaiko no shoojo no bishoo tsuyu harema

the little girl's smile
when banging the drum -
fine weather during the rainy season

朝吹英和 Asabuki Hidekazu

.. .. ..

aotsuyu no suyaki no hachi no omotakeri

rain on green leaves -
the pot without a glaze
feels so heavy

小林 檀 Kobayashi Dan

(Tr. Gabi Greve)

Many more haiku abou the rainy season:

See my explanation about Drums of Japan


may rain -
the temple garden

shrouded in red

At Mt. Koya, Koya-san

© Photo and Haiku by Gabi Greve


rainy season -
all the different shades of

long summer rain . . .
the weeds grow wild
with every drop

Gabi Greve, June 2010

Related words

***** World Kigo Database: Monsoon

***** Drought (hideri, Japan)

..... Mildew, mold (kabi)  Japan



sakuo said...

Romantic with feminity.

皐月雨 寺のお庭に 紅を指し
satuki ame tera no oniwa ni beni wo sasi

I love this photo very much.


. Gabi Greve said...

> may rain -
> leaves dancing in
> the forest mist

A beautifully descriptive haiku, Gabi. The woods are very special in the rain.



A fine haiku and another fascinating kigo page --
your Mt. Koya photo is simply splendid!



Two Comments from WHCworkshop.

Thank you all! And add your haiku here as a comment, please.


. Gabi Greve said...

the rainy season
tinkling in a champagne glass
on the garden seat

Geert Verbeke


. Gabi Greve said...

After some really storm weather this week, today Saturday is a
welcomed sunny interlude, prolific bird whistles are coming indoors
from my mango tree, i grab my camera and go out into the yard to
investigate, are they nestlings, is there a bird's nest in the tree,
i get under the tree to see two grown birds, one wants to pose for



gillena cox


Gabi Greve said...

tsuyu ake ya sate onnna-saka otoko-saka

Kubota Mantaro (Mantaroo)

end of the rainy season -
well, an access slope for women
an access slope for men

(English rendition, Gabi Greve)

The access slope to a mountain shrine or temple is usually divided into an easy to walk one ... for the womenfolk
and a difficult, steep one for the menfolk.

At least now, SATE, when the rainy season is over, the Japanese worshippers can go back to the mountain sanctuaries.