18 August, 2006

Where’s Summer?

Today we have more sunshine than we had in the past week together. It’s hot and bright and feels so like summer.

Ever since the rainy season ended officially at the very end of July we’ve been swaying back and forth through heat+sun and rain+darkness and I never really had a chance to feel “yeah, summer” kick ass!” and for the first time this year I realized why I don’t feel like we’re in the midst of the deadly hot and humid season – I haven’t seen nyudogumo yet.

Nyudogumo is only something like a nickname for thunderclouds. Originally the term “nyudo” was used to describe Buddhist monks (bozu) precisely because the term is consisted of the kanji which mean “to enter” and “the way”, namely “to go into religion”.
Some of the Buddhist sects including the Shaolinsi are on the martial side, and some giant men of extraordinary strength were invited for their strength to enter the way. Such men – besides their physical strength – were believed to have power also in psychic and divine powers, gathering respect and awe from lay people.

Not only for thunderclouds but also for many other strange, other-worldy phenomena the names of nyudo or bozu were given in those days. As for the thunderclouds, its weird appearance of growing larger and larger higher up in the sky with that unique matte kind of fluffiness and moreover its size amazed people into calling them “nyudo-gumo (nyudo-clouds)”.

Hmm, so I guess it’s like... people naming thunderclouds after Marshmallowman from Ghostbusters in 20th century... or maybe not. Something like that. Never mind.

Anyway, what I wanted to say wasn’t marshmallowman, but until I had my coming of age I grew up in Kagawa in the island of Shikoku located mid west in Japan, and because I lived by the water I grew up watching a lot of thunderclouds as if they were growing from the sea surface. The summer landscape I have in mind were, are and will always be the blue sky and bright white thunderclouds.

Because I haven’t really been seeing much of the sky to begin with this summer in Tokyo, I can’t really comment or complain but anyway I haven’t seen any thunderclouds this year yet.

It doesn’t matter too badly though, cuz my target is Okinawa in September and that’s when and where my summer is supposed to be. I know I’m going to have a blast! .... that kind of reminded me that I still can’t get hold of an air ticket for my vacation... hope I’ll get something this weekend...

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