Friday, July 3, 2015

アイアイ傘 (love umbrella)

Although a phonetic translation of  アイアイ傘 (ai ai gasa) might suggest "love love umbrella," as ai (愛) means love, a kanji writing of the term is 相合傘, which does not use the character  愛.  Enter 相合傘 into a translator (such as can be found at and a definition will come up along the lines of "Umbrella under which a couple of man and woman walk close together."

I learned this from one of the Japanese teachers of English at a school where I  teach.  He had on the previous day seen a couple of our students, one male and one female, sharing an umbrella.  He was good-naturedly teasing them as he used the anecdote to teach me this phrase.  

When I checked for what kind of images this term would procure on the internet, I came across this picture:

And I thought to  myself, Wait a minute, isn't that Yoona from SNSD (aka Girls' Generation, the megapopular Kpop group)?  I clicked to go to the webpage, at

and I realized that yes, it was her and her co-star from the drama Love Rain. I saw it sometime last year, and I recall that the yellow umbrella was an important device for the bonding of two main characters.  I don't know if there's an equivalent phrase in the Korean language, but I'll ask some of my Korean friends and/or students.

In the realm of Japanese media, it seems that there's a song called  アイアイ傘 performed by a boy-duet, テゴマス (Tegomass).  The original video was hard to find; the links seem to be largely disabled or deleted, perhaps a decision by their record label.   All I could find was this handheld camera video of a TV screen.


It's not the kind of music I generally listen to, but there were some karaoke covers which I found impressive for the singing.



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