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‘Snowflakes’ is our buzzword of the day, for all the right reasons

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23.01.2018

In Japanese, "shito shito" is an onomatopoeia for gently falling rain, and "byu byu" is for gusting winds. What is the correct equivalent for falling snow? Is it "shin shin" or “kon kon"?

The latter has the support of people who point out the line, "yuki ya kon kon," in a traditional children's song.

However, there apparently are diverse theories on the meaning of "kon kon" in this particular song.

In his book on Japanese songs, Isao Wakai, a scholar of Japanese linguistics, argues against considering "kon kon" as an onomatopoeia. He points out that since the "ya" in "yuki ya" makes this a vocative expression, the "kon kon" that follows should be interpreted as a command or........

© The Asahi Shimbun