あめ あめ ふれ ふれ ame ame fure fure
Yesterday was an 雨の日(ame no hi), rainy day. Days like this, in this heat and high humidity, remind me of tsuyu, Japan’s rainy season that occurs in June. Sometimes, this time of year, it feels like we also experience our own tsuyu in North Carolina. I don’t know why we don’t just name it so.
While it rained, I put some pieces in the indigo dye pot. After removing them from the vat, and unfolding the pieces revealed yellowing greens that were slowly changing over to indigo. The high humidity though, slowed the oxidation process, so it took longer than usual for that change. It gave me the chance to record some of that process and to enjoy the colors, however fleeting.
So, it was a day around soaking, sopping, dripping, soggy wet things – inside and out. Outside, the leaves were dripping from the pouring rain and water was running down the driveway and trickling down the street. Inside my garage, fabric was soaking in the vat, then later, the soggy pieces were dripping from the drying rack.
On days like these, a familiar word or expression often comes to mind: 濡れている(nureteiru)-it’s wet, or びっしょりぬれている (bisshōri nureteiru)-it’s soaking wet. To me, nothing quite captures the qualities of water like these words do.
In a short language exploration last night, I discovered there are quite a few words and expressions around the topic. Lately, this hot humid weather is 蒸し暑い-mushi atsui. To get wet is ぬれる-nureru. To soak cloth in a dye, though, is布を染料に浸す – nuno o senryo ni hitasu. The word senryo contains the character 染 (some/zome) which means “to dye.” Another pronunciation of the same character, in a similar context is shimikomu – 染み込む. It means “to soak into” or “permeate.” These are only a few examples from my brief research, needless to say, there is much more to be discovered.