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Satsuki-bare, Sunny Weather in May

The sunny weather in May is surrounded by strong sunlight and strong green fragrant air.  The influence of yellow sand flying from the continent is reduced, and it clears up.  Today's Japanese call this "Satsuki-bare, Sunny weather in May".

However, this image of Satsuki-bare arrived after the Meiji era, and the original Satsuki-bare is the sunny weather in June of the lunar calendar.  Since there is a difference of about one month between the solar calendar and the lunar calendar, May in the lunar calendar is around June now.

May of the lunar calendar is around the summer solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere receives the most energy from the sun.  These days Japan becomes a trough between the subtropical high pressure northward and the cold high pressure influenced by the Sea of Ohotsk, which is famous for drift ice. 

Air is pushed out from high pressure to low pressure, resulting in wind. In this valley, the wind from the north and the wind from the south collide, and the air that has nowhere to go rises. 

When the air rises, it is cooled, and if the air is moist, it becomes water droplets and clouds form, making it easier for it to rain. 

When the condition becomes less disturbed, the trough of atmospheric pressure becomes stagnant, resulting in a rainy season that continues to rain.  In Japan, the rainy season is the period from June to July, which corresponds to May in the lunar calendar.

Therefore, the rainy season is called “Samidare”.  There are also sunny days in the long rainy season. It was such a day when the humidity was high and the smell of growing plants was stuffy. Originally, such a sunny season in the rainy season is called " Satuski-bare=Sunny weather in May".

The rainy season is often hated, but it is my favorite of the four seasons. I love the rainy season because the rain-drenched hydrangeas are so wonderful and vibrant. So the June rains bring happiness to me.

And both "Satsuki-bare" and "Samidare" have a very beautiful sound that soothes the heart.

Stay tuned for the next post.

Written by Yoshimi Matsuta