Zansyo (残暑) Fun! Japan Words vol.158

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20170807-11-01-Ohiya

Zansyo is the Japanese word that is literally translated as “lingering summer heat”.

Zansyo indicates the period of time when summer ends and autumn is just starting. This period normally starts around the 2nd week of August, and goes up to the 1st week of September. It refers to the lingering of the summer heat that doesn’t go away until a few weeks into autumn.

This period of seasonal transition is also a time when Japanese people traditionally send greeting letters to each other, called Zansyo Mimai.

These letters normally start with Zansyo omimai moushiagemasu. Then there is usually a section that asks about the recipient’s well-being, followed by an update of one’s own recent developments. The letters usually end with telling the recipient to take care of themselves.

Let’s remember the following useful sentences before going to Japan!

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Kotoshi no zansyo wa itsumo yori kibishii desune.
(今年の残暑はいつもより厳しいですね。)
> This year’s late summer heat is even more severe than normal isn’t it?

Zansyo omimai moushiagemasu.
(残暑お見舞い申し上げます。)
> Happy late summer. (Not really an accurate translation as there is no English equivalent. It is a phrase used at the start of Zansyo seasonal greeting letters.)

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Now all that’s left is to go out there and try using them in Japan!

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