The hesitant, almost diffident cry of the first cicadas of summer reminds us that the rainy season in Japan is ending. All we need to do is gaman, or “hang in there,” and summer in all of its glory will finally be here. In the meantime, friends, listen…
In Japanese, jime-jime is that unpleasant, sticky feeling during the rainy season when the humidity has got its clammy hands all over you; mushi-mushi when it damn near smothers you.
To the Japanese ear, potan is the sound of a drop of water plopping into, say, a bucket; pota-pota, the tune a leaky faucet sings; and jah-jah, water gushing out of a pipe.
The Japanese will hear potsu-potsu as raindrops start falling upon dry ground; shito-shitowhen it drizzles; and zah-zah when it pours. More . . .