Saturday, 9 July 2011

日本 の かさ - Japanese Umbrellas

Every year in Japan, there is a rainy season which begins in about June and continues until around the end of July. It is called 'tsuyu' or Plum rain, as it occurs at the same time as the plums ripening on the trees. During this time, it is summer in Japan so it becomes very humid, and Japan receives up to 80% of her annual rainfall.

During this time, umbrella's are a must in Japan, and of course, Japanese ingenuity has lead to great inventiveness in both umbrellas and umbrella bags!

During tsuyu, everyone in Japan carries an umbrella

Of course, some umbrellas are a little fancier than others - here is some umbrella bling!

Umbrella design has become quite advanced - these are not dolls, but umbrellas!

Japanese umbrellas can be very beautiful works of art

This umbrella offers full coverage

As does this one - but with a little more style perhaps?

I-brolly? An umbrella design with a sound system!

And this is the ultimate high tech umbrella - with access to the internet!
 Everyone knows that when you walk into a building with an umbrella, it often drips on the ground. This is not a problem in Japan - there are a number of ways that avoid this problem:

An umbrella stand outside a building in Japan
At a Japanese school, there is an umbrella stand in the foyer next to the shoe box (getabako)

Umbrella bag machines can be found in almost every major store - the umbrella bagger - just pop your umbrella in and it is covered by a plastic bag which catches the drips - use the bag remover on your way out!

And more recently, there has been the introduction of ... the umbrella dryer - a bit like a hand-dryer but this is especially for umbrellas!
Many people in Japan use transparent umbrellas - this allows you to hold the umbrella over your head and still see where you are walking

Transparent umbrellas are very handy when riding your bike - especially if the rain is coming toward your face
And of course, there are always crazy inventions - here are just a few unusual umbrella inventions:

The 'hands-free' umbrella
A more high-tech 'hands-free' umbrella

Why should your dog get wet when walking in the rain!

Keeping your camera safe when taking photos

Feed my fish!

Ready to make music?