Word of the Day: “gentou”

“Severe winter.” The Japanese have a word for it: gentou.  Unlike dantou, mild winter, the word gentou is seldom or never used conversationally; nevertheless, there is a word for it, and gentou is that word.

Most people would agree that this is a gentou winter in Japan. All I know is, despite wearing a gauze mask at home and school for the last two months I still get nosebleeds daily because of the dry air this year. I’ll probably end up just getting the thing, my nose, cauterized. Allergy season has started, and the thought of explosive bloody sneezes is enough to drive me to a doctor’s office. Or to participate in the annual health check at school this week…


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