It wasn't a case of the 'blahs', it was just a little early case of...

Good morning everyone,

Well, today is going to be hot and sunny! A perfect day to start a holiday! And funnily enough, the weather has suddenly changed and now there is a chance of rain on Monday. I was so surprised that this year, we were going to have sunny weather for all of Golden Week (I don't think it's happened since I've been in Hiroshima) and now it's looking like, in fact, we'll get one rainy day-as usual! Luckily, I won't be playing golf after all...
Gogatsu byou

It wasn't the was 'gogatsu byo'!

As well as being the start of the new business and academic year, April in Japan also marks the time when new graduates make their first forays into the world of full-time employment and many companies rotate their staff both to keep them on their toes and help them acquire new skills. It’s a fun, frenetic time of year, and everyone from kids in their new school uniforms to fresh-faced employees wearing crisp, black suits looks tremendously smart and presentable as they hurry to their place of education or employment, eager to make the most of their day.

In May, however, it all comes crashing down. Reality sets in and people start to realise that everything is just the same as it was before, albeit with a few quirks and a shiny new name badge or lunchbox. The fire in kids’ bellies goes out, the twinkle disappears from new employees’ eyes, and they start to approach their work with all the enthusiasm of a teenage kid heading to grandma's house...

This is gogatsu-byou; the phenomenon that occurs every May and affects millions of Japanese to some degree or other.

Despite containing the kanji character for sickness (病),  gogatsu-byou is not an actual medical condition. Nevertheless, at this time of year the May blues are frequently referred to all over Japan, and the syndrome is often taken surprisingly seriously.

▼ Because May?


Gogatsu-byou becomes a bigger problem around the start of the second week of May. Most people get over it within a couple of days and begrudgingly drag themselves to school or work, but in the rarest of cases, gogatsu-byou can become a serious problem.

I think I've got over mine already! How about you? Do you ever get the May Blues?

Have a great day!

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