I just got back from the post office where I shipped 3 boxes of clothing home to Arizona. I got drenched in the pouring rain on the way back to school. It has been raining like crazy for the last week and according to the weather report, this is supposed to continue for another week. This is the "fifth season" the Japanese refer to as "Tsuyu" or Plum Rain, since this time of year is also when the green Japanese plums appear in markets. They are too sour and astringent to eat raw, but they are used in a variety of preparations such as umeboshi, the bright pink pickled plums that polarize palates almost as much as the dreaded natto (stringy, sticky fermented soybeans), and the delicious umeshu (plum wine). I am finding the rain a little depressing but also very cleansing, as the rain keeps the air smelling clean and the temperatures comfortable.