When I came to Osaka six years ago in June of 2012, I experienced my first Kansai summer. At the time, it was also my first encounter with heavy humidity. It seemed novel then (rain.. in summer?!), but later after making the move to Japan, I would discover the ills that a humid summer can bring.. including heat rash, swollen mosquito bites, and typhoons.
Summer has never been a particularly favorite season of mine, especially when it means staying indoors due to heat, rain, or both. Yet, despite the downsides of a wet and sticky season, there is something about summer that is both drowsy and electric, punctuated by the popping of 花火 (hanabi: fireworks) and the buzz of insects. It seems fitting that as I write this blog post, the rain streams sideways against the window glass, and my ears are full of the sounds of overflowing gutters. However, it was 3 years ago, while living in Asakusa in Tokyo, that I first began to describe the feeling of an island summer, as sampled below.