Kanji Tip 15 – 雷雨 (thunderstorm)

Following the weather related kanji, after yesterday’s heat, today there was rain and thunder!

So here is today’s kanji:

Easy to guess right? It’s rain! It’s read あめ (ame).

And today it was a really heavy rain in the morning, so we say 大雨 (おおあめ, ooame, lit. “big rain”!)

This kanji is very commonly used in the top of other characters (冠, かんむり, kanmuri, the top part of a kanji), relating t weather conditions.

But as I said, today there were a lot of thunders in the morning as well, so here goes the thunder kanji as well!

It means thunder, and it’s read かみなり (kaminari). But hey, we have seen the bottom part HERE before right? That’s right!

But no, it has nothing to do with rice fields!

It’s believed that the bottom part of this kanji comes from the Japanese drum, which despite being round, took this character shape. Associating the sound of the drums to rain falling from the sky, you get thunder!

And here is an even better one just for you.

If you write “kaminari” (thunder) with another kanji combination, you get this: 神鳴り. Both are new kanji that I have not introduced yet, but  means God and 鳴り means sound, so we can imagine that thunders are the sounds of God’s existence! This is indeed interesting, because it’s a real belief from centuries ago in Japan!

And! To seal today’s kanji tip, let’s combine the two of these characters!

雷雨 (らいう, raiu)

Its meaning is thunderstorm! “rai” and “u” are, once again, the different readings that these kanji have. Explanation soon!


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