Happy first day of Summer! The Summer Solstice is one of my favorite days of the year because it has the most daylight. In the Land of the Rising Sun, that means we are experiencing a very early sunrise.

Honestly, the early sunrise doesn’t bother Dave and me too much because we are usually out the door for our run by 4:15am. The early light makes an early morning jog to Zushi Beach possible.

Despite the first day of summer and the expected abundance of sunshine, it is still rainy season in Japan. Today was overcast and drizzly with 97% humidity. Tomorrow is forecasted to be more of the same.

Here’s a little fact for you about Japan. The Japanese name for Japan is 日本. It is pronounced either Nihon or Nippon. Both pronunciations are correct and used for different purposes. The kanji 日 (nichi), means sun. The kanji 本(hon) means origin. (When nichi is combined with another kanji, the chi is silent.) The name came about during the Edo Period. From the view pint of China, the sun would rise above Japan. Thus, making it the land of the rising sun. Fast forward to today, with a 4:26am sunrise in the summer, the name “Land of the the Rising Sun” is still very much appropriate.

For all my logophile readers, people who love words, Japan is an exonym. An exonym is a word used outside of a geographical area to describe a country or a group of people. Japan is the English exonym for Nihon or Nippon.

Just when it was time to take a break from learning, I give you a school lesson. Thanks for reading! Next time you play Scrabble, please try to use exonym. Happy Summer!