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Heart of America

Japan-America Society
The mission of the Heart of America Japan-America Society is to further understanding 
between the peoples of Japan and the Greater Kansas City area by promoting
social, cultural and educational exchanges.

To: Heart of America Japan-America Society members

Greeting from HAJAS President



June in Japan is typically the time of ‘rainy season.’  The Japanese term translates directly as ‘plum rain,’ which seems to refer to rain providing the moisture for tree fruits.  It is also the season when the ‘plums’ (actually a kind of apricot) ripen to the point where they can be used for ‘ume-shu’ or plum liqueur.  The ‘plum rain’ is actually a weather pattern that brings a low front over most of Japan for a few weeks in early summer.  Humidity is high, some amount of rain can fall every day, or less often.  People must deal with very high humidity, which can cause mold to form on clothes, bedding or shoes in storage. It was a complete surprise to me, and a bit of a shock because I hate high humidity!  But none of my Japanese friends reacted when I complained.  ‘Gaman,’ or patience is highly valued in Japan.  Instead of complaining, people enjoy the hydrangeas, which are usually at the height of their beauty during the plum rains.  I had to learn which is better: complaining, or enjoying the hydrangeas?  So far this summer in Kansas, we have had high humidity, so I am trying not to complain!

John Lytton

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