It’s time for another random Japanese lesson. I’ve had a theme surrounding spring for the last few days, and since yesterday was the first day of spring, why not continue the trend?
Yesterday’s weather was incredibly pleasant, if not a bit windy. So, today’s word is directly related to that specific weather event. Tbh, yesterday was the first time I encountered this word/phrase, so we are in the same unfamiliar territory this time around. Special thanks to my lovely girlfriend Yui for putting me on game and introducing us to the phrase, 春一番/はるいちばん/haruichiban.
She explained to me that the strong warm winds that battered us up and down the streets of Shibuya, were an indicator to the arrival of spring. How timely! But how is it translated? Let’s break it down
If you were to look up 春一番 in a dictionary, you might find the definition “first storm of spring” or “strong winds during the transition from winter to spring”. How either of these definitions were pulled from this phrase is a mystery to me but not everything is as direct as they seem. I have the sneaking suspicion that this phrase may have a story behind it. Sure enough, after some digging, I found the answer online. On March 17 1859, off the coast of Nagasaki, a crew of 53 fisherman were shipwrecked due to the strong winds. Since it was the first time that such an incident happened during the season, the phrase 春一番 was coined.
Of course, this weather phenomenon has a meteorological explanation but it’s not nearly as interesting. Should you be interested in learning more, you can view this article through a translator or ask many any questions below!
That’s all for today. Do you have any interesting weather events in your country at the start of spring? How about a strange phrase to describe them? Leave your thoughts below and don’t forget to like and share this post.
Until next time,