They say that the Inuit have 50 words to describe snow. Well in Japan, where it rains a lot and people love to talk about the weather, the Japanese language has over 50 nouns for rain. There’s rain showers, weak rain, light rain, fine rain, misty rain, heavy rain, intense rain, downpour, localized downpour, chilly rain, rain and snow, rain at night, spring rain, and 2 words for early summer rain, as well as autumn rain.
Japanese design troupe nendo (previously) chose just 20 words for rain and artistically captured each in a water bottle. They used clear acrylic bottles to create delicate dioramas to illustrate the different types of rain. The installation was on display earlier this month at Maison & Objet in Paris, where the designers had been asked to consider the relationship between language and design for the “word” themed exhibition.