Or typhoon, if you wish. Also known as "Man-Yi," taifun number 4 is heading for Honshu. Honshu is the island I live on here in Japan, the one in the middle with most of the famous cities you've heard of.
It's been raining for about a week now, a sort of late rainy season to replace the one we didn't have this year thanks to la Nina (although I just read something to the effect there is no la Nina this year... I don't know... what am I, a meteorologist?). And now comes Man-Yi, which has already injured at least 8 people in Okinawa and sunk a Chinese ship.
Airlines have cancelled flights, and J-Pop superstars Mr. Children scotched their planned concert at a music festival in nearby Kakegawa. Kakegawa, huh? I once ate at a fantastic garlic restaurant there with a girl I was dating, followed by a romantic stroll through the gardens of Kakegawa-jo.
But Mr. Children cancelling an appearance in a town that's practically a Hamamatsu suburb? That's actually big local news, much bigger than the rumor that a member of Smap is living temporarily in Bentenjima for the summer surfing season.
For my American reader, imagine for a moment you live in Albany, Georgia. Therefore, Mr. Children cancelling a performance in Kakegawa is roughly the equivalent of defunct boy band N'Sync backing out of a show at the Wild Adventures amusement park in Valdosta. If such a chain of events were ever to occur.
Since we didn't get a rainy season this year, we could really use the rain. Not the wind-caused destruction, of course. Or the flooding or mudslides. But definitely the rain. And there's at least one other positive to it beyond the much-needed precipitation- if you're lucky you might see a woman wearing a kimono walking under an umbrella.
I can think of a few more quintessential Japanese images... but not many.