32. 暑中見舞い
Play • 4 min

Full transcript: https://japanesemayuna.com/


Hello. This is my podcast episode 32. There's been a lot of news this week. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned, and a Yu-Gi-Oh cartoonist was killed in an accident. This morning, I was very surprised to hear the news that former Prime Minister Abe was killed by a sniper. This incident is very unusual in Japan, as there are less than 10 incidents a year in which guns are used. Japan is considered to be a peaceful country, but in reality, poverty among young people is becoming more serious. Crime may increase.


Today I would like to introduce some Japanese summer customs. In your country, is there a custom of meeting family and relatives in the summer? In Japan, many people meet their families on a holiday in August called 'Obon'. Cards and gifts are sometimes sent. This is called 'Shochu Mimai' and is sent from early July to early August. ‘Shochu' means 'hot season' and 'Mimai (politer: Omimai)' means visiting someone to see how they are doing. The phrase "Shochu Omimai Moushiagemasu (I wish you all the best in the hot weather)" is used on the card. The phrase ’Moushiageru’ is the humble form of ‘Iu (to say)’. Humble expression is one of the honorifics and is used for one's own actions. There are no specific rules for gifts. In some cases, gifts may not be given.


The custom of Shochu Mimai is said to have originated in the Edo period (1603-1867). It is said to have originated when people visited their families during the Obon period and brought offerings to their deceased ancestors. It also has the purpose of checking to see if people are doing well, as many people lose their appetites or suffer heat stroke during the hot summer months. Besides family and relatives, we also send Shochu Mimai to colleagues and friends. These traditional customs are gradually disappearing. Due to the coronavirus, there are fewer opportunities for people to get together.


Well, I think that’s it for today. And I know this is sudden, but I'm going to take a break from updating this podcast and articles for a while. I will continue the italki lessons, so please keep in touch with me. So, everyone, I hope you are all doing well in these hot days ahead. I wish you all the best in the hot weather. Thank you very much.

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