EssayEtymologyJapanese traditionScienceUncorrected

Nyūdō Gumo (入道雲 – Cumulonimbus Cloud)

  • Nyūdō Gumo


    I like ‘nyūdō gumo‘ (入道雲), which you can see in the summer sky.

    Nyūdō gumo are huge and clear clouds like mountains that are made by rising air currents — which are called cumulonimbus clouds in English.

    Nyūdō‘ (入道) is a traditional Japanese specter who has a shaven head, and ‘gumo/kumo‘ (雲) means “cloud.”
    入道とは坊主頭の日本の妖怪のことで、雲は “cloud” を意味します。

    This term was made by comparing this specter with the high cumulonimbus clouds.

    Incidentally, nyūdō gumo is a slang term, and its official name in Japan is ‘sekiran un’ (積乱雲 – literally “piled and disordered clouds”).

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