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Japan needs guilt-free time off in event of severe weather

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Stepping out of my home yesterday morning, I got a whiff of ginkgo nuts in the air.

It was still too early in the year, but many of the yellow nuts, with leaves still green, apparently got shaken off trees in the gale-force winds that kept blowing until dawn. Broken tree branches also littered the area.

In central Tokyo, I saw a large uprooted and fallen willow tree. The Japanese idiom “yanagi ni kaze,” which translates literally as “willow in the wind,” derives from the tree’s strength that comes from its flexibility.

But Typhoon No. 15 was obviously too powerful. It knocked a lot of things down that should by rights be still standing.


© The Asahi Shimbun