Today it rained so hard with thunder here in eastern Japan. I saw a small boy running so fast on his way home. For the small kids, thunder must be one of the most terrifying things.
On a day like today, I remember my childhood: The adults around us said, “Hide your belly button, or the god of thunder will take it away.”
Who is the god of thunder? Although there are several myths describing this god, but in general, he’s called ‘Kaminari-sama’, or more formally ‘Raijin’, living above the clouds with the drums on his shoulders to create the sound of thunder. If you visit Japan, you can meet him at the most famous touristy site, Kaminarimon of Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo.
Then why kids have to hide the belly button? This actually means “Wear your clothes properly to cover your belly.” It’s normally hot and humid in this season, but the temperature goes down quickly when thunderstorming. So the parents tell kids not to expose their bodies to cold temperature; otherwise, they would easily catch a cold.
It seems to hold true… Now I’m feeling cool breeze from outside.