Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August: The Death Month

In Japanese, the word for hot is atsui. In the usual small talk about weather, you'll hear the word mushi-atsui, which means humid and hot. Although the temperature reached 100 yesterday in New Hampshire, I have to say it wasn't nearly as hot as mushi-atsui in Japan.

On hot days when Japanese people had a mild film of sweat on their faces, my sweat was running in rivulets off my nose, soaking my clothes, dripping into puddles on the floor. It's a Caucasian thing; they didn't understand. My sweat was rude because it was outstanding.

The heat is often described in American Fuji. From p. 62: "Outside, Alex felt physically slugged by the humidity. Haze or smoke intensified the hot white glare, nearly choking him. It was only 9:00 AM." Later in his walk, on p. 64: "Alex kept walking, feeling the heat coming through the soles of his shoes. [He] stopped to peel his shirtfront a few inches off his chest and palpitate some air through the cloth. His head pounded. He looked for shade, but found only a tiny circling shadow of a hawk."

In Japan, August is known as the month of death because the elderly die from the strain of the heat.

1 comment:

SapphireSavvy said...

I love your language!