IT’S RAINING KANJI
Here is yet another simple kanji that has a few tricks up its sleeve. The primary readings are U and ame. As easy as coming in out of the rain, you say? Well, read on.
First we have the word for “drizzle” or “light rain.” (This is a word that you are sure to have a use for during Japan’s rainy months.) When this compound is formed with the kun reading of 霧 , an “s” sound is added, so that the あ hiragana character changes to a さ.
霧雨 （きりさめ）drizzle; light rain
Moreover, some words that employ the kun reading use an alternative version of it. In the following examples, the ame reading becomes ama—so that the め hiragana is changed to ま:
- 雨戸 （あまど） storm door
- 雨雲 （あまぐも） rain cloud
- 雨靴 （あまぐつ） rain shoes; rubbers
In a few cases, either kun reading is correct. You can pronounce the following words with either ama or ame.
- 雨模様（あめもよう・あまもよう）signs of rain
- 雨続き（あめつづき・あまつづき）rainy spell
There are also some words that take either the kun reading or the on reading. For the following examples, both of the listed readings are valid:
- 雨水 （あまみず・うすい）rainwater
- 春雨 （はるさめ・しゅんう） spring rains