The true meaning of “Aiai-gasa” commented by Japanese. There are 7 patterns in “Aiai-gasa”.
You will have seen the symbol of “Aiai-gasa” in Japanese animation and manga. You already know that this mark implies the mam and woman are already or almost in a romantic relationship. Do you know that there are seven patterns in “Aiai-gasa”? Also, are you interested in what kind of emotions and situations are associated with “Aiai-gasa” for Japanese people? Why do Japanese people with habits of preserving personal space share such a small space like in “Aiai-gasa”? By knowing the authentic “Aiai-gasa” you will be able to know more about the Japanese and its culture. You will also be able to know the psychological implications hidden in “Aiai-gasa”, which are often described in dramas and animations. By understanding “Aiai-gasa”, you will be able to enjoy Japanese movies or dramas more.
1. What is “相合傘” (あいあいがさ, Aiai-gasa)?
1.1. What is “Aiai-gasa”?
By using one umbrella with two people, that means two people going into the same umbrella together. “Aiai-gasa” may be pronounced as “Eiei gasa” overseas, due to the convenience of reading. Also, rather than “Aiai-gasa”, “love love Gasa” = Love Umbrella is sometimes used. However, it is actually pronounced “Aiai-gasa”, and “相合” (あいあい、Aiai) means “do something together.” Therefore, a romance between men and women does not necessarily relate to “Aiai-gasa”, but people sometimes do “Aiai-gasa” just because they do not want to get wet.
Also, the common “Aiai-gasa” symbol often seen in scribbles and manga is very simple. You just write each name on the left and right side of the “Aiai-gasa” symbol. By writing your name and the other person’s name on a blackboard, diary, notebook etc, it works just like a love spell. A boy and girl wish “to be together” or “to be together forever”. However, this symbol is often written by third parties to tease those people. You often see this among elementary and junior high school students when they tease a boy and girl who have not quite started dating yet.
1.2. Why do Japanese people do “Aiai-gasa”?
First of all, Asia is characterized by its changing wind direction in summer and winter due to the influence of wind called monsoon (seasonal wind). In the summer the moist wind comes from the sea and brings a lot of rain in the rainy season. In the winter dry wind comes from the continent, so it changes to the dry season and the rain decreases. Because rain in Japan is caused by such wind, the air itself contains humidity, which makes it difficult to dry when you get wet. It means people are more likely to catch a cold.
Japanese anime has a rain scene. In the famous Ghibli film “Kiki’s delivery service”, for example, Kiki who delivered her herring pie in the rain was sick in bed as she caught a cold. In “K-ON!!”, the heroine who tried to protect the guitar on a rainy day got wet in the rain and there is a scene where she sneezes. In “Love Live!”, the heroine caught a cold after her performance in the rain.
These images from “K-ON!! “are the scene where the heroine Yui gets wet in the rain and catch a cold.
Of course, there are other reasons to catch a cold, such as being mentally or physically exhausted due to too much practice. However, as people get wet with rain, body temperature and immunity drops and they tend to catch a cold. Because rain in Japan is particularly difficult to dry, it can get quite cold. If your body is tired, there is more chance to catch a cold.
As you can see from this, it is very important to have an umbrella when it rains. For that reason, the Japanese always check the weather forecast when leaving. Also, apps that show the chance of rain in your area are also popular. Besides, there is always an umbrella stand at the entrance and exit of Japanese buildings. People will leave their umbrella in there and take it when they leave the building. Japanese have a custom of having folding umbrella in case of sudden rain, and leaving an umbrella in the workplace or school for this purpose is called “置き傘” (Oki gasa, Putting umbrella) in particular.
However, it is difficult to always have an umbrella, it is not uncommon in Japan that it starts raining all of a sudden. If a man and woman have a relationship of less than dating and one has an umbrella and the other does not, shy Japanese people may seek a chance to approach the other person with “Aiai-gasa”, using it as a convenient excuse. As a romantic technique, there are cases where the Japanese put an umbrella on purpose. That “Aiai-gasa” with such romantic feelings will be described in detail later.
1.3. Why is “Aiai-gasa” a topic in Japan
The biggest feature of “Aiai-gasa” is that the distance between two people under one umbrella is close. Japanese have no habit of hugging or kissing to greet, and usually do not shake hands at all either. For Japanese who tend to keep their personal space from other people, close distance with the other person plays an important role in romance.
Because of such background, doing “Aiai-gasa” with the opposite sex is considered that the distance with that person has gotten closer. As a result, it is interpreted as a romantic relationship to do “Aiai-gasa” with the opposite sex. From olden days to up until now, there have been many poems and literature on the theme of “Aiai-gasa” between men and women.
Among the collection of the British Museum, “雪中相合傘” (Setchu Aiai Gasa, Couple under umbrella in snow) is a very famous work. It was painted by Harunobu Suzuki, one of the inventors of Nishiki-e. Around 1767, “Aiai-gasa” already implied gender relations in artworks. However, it had a different meaning; “Aiai-gasa” implied death when it included men and women in mind especially in the world of kabuki.
In the same Edo period (1603 to 1868), Hokusai manga also has depictions where “Aiai-gasa” marks are drawn on the walls of the toilet. There is a description of “Aiai-gasa” in the song “Meiji – Taisho era” (1868 to 1926) in “春雨に” (Harusame ni) and “夏の雨” (Summer Rain). The “Aiai-gasa” scene in the big hit movie “男はつらいよ 寅次郎相合い傘” (Man’s Hirayo Torajiro’ mutual umbrella) in 1975 is said to be one of the most famous scenes in the series.
In the modern age, many songs come out just by searching for a song titled “Aiai-gasa”. If you use something used for lyrics, it will be enormous. Even in the novel Toumei Hitomi’s “相合傘の唄” (Song of the Umbrella) in 1911, Ton Satomi’s “相合傘” (Aiai-gasa) in 1976, Touzou Suzuki’s “語源散策・相合傘” (Wanderer Walking and Confucius) in modern times and Ugetsu Yadou’s “相合い傘で子育て中” (Raising Children with an Associated Umbrella), various things are published. It can be said that Japanese people have special feelings about “Aiai-gasa”.
So what is the topic of modern “Aiai-gasa”? When becoming an elementary school student, there are cases where male and female relationships are suspected or mocked by “Aiai-gasa”. Especially for junior high and high school students who are in a sense of empathy, it is a time to bring romance emotions by touching fingers and fingers or feeling warmth close to the opponent, so making “Aiai-gasa” tends to be a topic very much. On the other hand, when you become an adult, it is established that you have “Aiai-gasa” as one of the options “You better not to get wet without taking an umbrella and getting wet without rubbing an umbrella.” Therefore, when becoming an adult, it will not become a topic just by only “Aiai-gasa”. In the next chapter, we will look at such patterned “Aiai-gasa” in detail.
2. 7 patterns of “Aiai-gasa”
2.1. Meaningless Aiai-gasa
There is no romantic emotion in “Aiai-gasa” between homosexual friends, and they won’t get teased. Likewise, “Aiai-gasa” between seniors and juniors, superiors and subordinates, etc. is only for practicality; they simply don’t want to get wet. Even if it is heterosexual, there are rare occasions with practicality, although it is rare when there are partners or friends. In such a case, “Aiai-gasa” mark is not used.
2.2. One Sided Aiai-gasa
2.2.1. The case of elementary and junior high school students
It will be quite interesting for children to go home in “Aiai-gasa” between the elementary school and high school. If you can do “Aiai-gasa”, it is a good opportunity to get along with someone you like. Although it is a nervous scene for a person who is unrequited, the other who does not think anything is only satisfied with real interests. Unfortunately, such patterns are common in reality.
Meanwhile, students of this age will feel embarrassed that they are with someone with the opposite sex. Therefore, one side often hands over an umbrella and gets wet.
It is mainly women to develop romantic emotions by writing “Aiai-gasa” marks on notes, diaries, grounds and so on. This has a meaning as a love spell. However, elementary school students do such an act, junior high school students do not do such an act. If a third party knows the feelings of the target person, a third party sometimes teases them by writing “Aiai-gasa” with the subject’s name on the blackboard. However, there are cases in which such chilling leads to bullying. When becoming a junior high school student, it will be less teased by “Aiai-gasa” mark.
2.2.2. The case of high school student
Offering “Aiai-gasa” itself may have the same meaning as the confession of love. Therefore, if you are offered “Aiai-gasa”, you are very concerned about what the other person thinks about you. “Aiai-gasa” becomes a technique to make love go well even in a little. However, even in such a case, one is very concerned about the other, but the other one is often satisfied only with real interests. The misunderstanding leads to a shocking ending. Among high school students, “Aiai-gasa” marks are used less often as teasing. But as a love spell, this mark is sometimes used only in women group.
2.2.3. The case of university student / worker
In the case of college students and adults, the purpose of inviting “Aiai-gasa” to the other party is not a love affair but a consideration that “the other party is not good to get wet in the rain” is larger. If a person in mind does not have an umbrella, doing “Aiai-gasa” becomes an opportunity to get along with the person. On the contrary, if the person has an umbrella, applying “Aiai-gasa” can also lead to the love affair. Also, by doing “Aiai-gasa” as an excuse, it is possible to develop into a date as a “thanks” afterward. When you become an adult, it is not used “Aiai-gasa” mark.
2.3. Platonic Aiai-gasa
2.3.1. The case of elementary and junior high school students
At the time of first concerning the opposite sex, children have the illusion that they became adults and have the desire to do “Aiai-gasa”. If you are invited by “Aiai-gasa” you can not help but wonder what the other person your opponent thinks of you. Also, sometimes hands touch each other by rubbing on which one has an umbrella. In the case of manga and anime, this is a typical pattern that develops into romance. However, because of the time of empathy, as a psychological state becomes a complex emotion with tension and irritation to yourself. Sometimes third parties are teasing with “Aiai-gasa” mark, which may be broken or bullied due to embarrassment.
2.3.2. The case of high school students
Because people are concerned about each other, the invitation to “Aiai-gasa” is unlikely to be refused. Because the distance is shortened by “Aiai-gasa”, it becomes an opportunity to talk or confess love. Because doing “Aiai-gasa” makes each other tense, shy Japanese people may not be able to confess quite easily. It is a frustrating scene to watch.
Around this time, there are more people who make fun of face, than to tease with “Aiai-gasa” mark. There are cases where women write this mark a love spell, but they are used only by themselves or secretly.
2.3.3. The case of university student / worker
While there are cases of doing “Aiai-gasa” when young, as people get older they will not do “Aiai-gasa”. Unlike children, women are also strongly protecting their personal spaces, so people who can think things better considering the situation of the other party and thinking things better can invite “Aiai-gasa” to the other party successfully. Even adults are tense, but they are no longer children, so the correspondence of “Aiai-gasa” is smart. There are no cases like teasing with “Aiai-gasa” mark.
2.4. Romantic Aiai-gasa
2.4.1. The case of elementary and junior high school students
Because elementary school students hardly have sex with, they rarely go out and do “Aiai-gasa”. Conversely, junior high school students begin to associate men and women, so they want to do “Aiai-gasa” and expect rain. For them, “Aiai-gasa” is a longing act of being able to approach a partner. This time is a psychological state where curiosity outperforms embarrassment. Of course, they may be made fun of by an umbrella sign, but they are happy to go out and write “Aiai-gasa” marks in their diaries.
2.4.2. The case of high school students
High school students crave the rain because they can approach each other by doing “Aiai-gasa”. Some people do not bring an umbrella on purpose to do “Aiai-gasa”. In the case of a classic couple, there are cases in which two persons enter one umbrella, although the woman has an umbrella in her hands. The idea of “Lady First” begins to grow in men, so it starts to present umbrellas from men. Anyway, it’s fun to start dating, so it’s meaningful to do something together. “Aiai-gasa” is also a representative one among them. Especially because the distance to the other person is shortened, each other wants “Aiai-gasa” situation. Because they are already dating, they rarely write “Aiai-gasa” mark by themselves. Also, third parties do not tease them with “Aiai-gasa” mark.
2.4.3. The case of university student / worker
Mostly men offer an umbrella to a woman. When they are young, women go into umbrellas of men sometimes. Also, in order to do “Aiai-gasa”, women sometimes forget their umbrellas on purpose. On the contrary, the goodness of preparation becomes an evaluation point as an adult, so it is necessary to correspond on a case by case basis. There are no things like teasing with “Aiai-gasa” sign.
2.5. Stable Aiai-gasa
They have experienced “Aiai-gasa”, and they are used to doing “Aiai-gasa” as well. More and more couples do not do “Aiai-gasa”, but one can feel uneasy because of the distance to the partner. As long as your relationship is stable, it will never be destroyed by “Aiai-gasa” mark. Even when they are young, it is meaningless to tease couples.
2.6. Married Aiai-gasa
The newlywed’s couple does “Aiai-gasa” but they will not do it as time goes by because they are together. Since the distance feeling of each other is also completed, almost always do not do “Aiai-gasa” except for a friendly couple who always walks holding hands. Third parties will not tease them by drawing “Aiai-gasa”, but it is likely that their children will reaffirm their happiness by writing “Aiai-gasa” mark for the parents.
2.7. Other Aiai-gasa
In Japan, children often take umbrellas to their father when he is caught in a station due to sudden rain. In the United States and elsewhere, working from home or commuting by car is common, but in Japan, homework is not so common yet and most people commute by train or bus. Therefore, if it starts raining suddenly, fathers on the way home will have their children bring an umbrella and meet at the nearest station. Of course, fathers use an adult umbrella that his child has brought and the child uses an umbrella for children, so they never share the same umbrella physically. However, the sight that the two parent-child umbrellas lined up on the way back home can be said to be a heartwarming “Aiai-gasa” in the sense that they share the time of a parent and child.
3. The actual state of “Aiai-gasa”
3.1. The actual state of “Aiai-gasa” Questionnaire
When we do a Google search about “questionnaire about Aiai-gasa” in Japan, the first search result is “which anime character do you want to have “Aiai-gasa” with?” Despite the fact that such animated characters don’t exist in real life, many people still wish they could do “Aiai-gasa” with their favorite character.
Here are the results of the questionnaire conducted in June of 2018 (corresponding to the rainy season).
The character of “Gintama” whose live-action movie is being produced has won the first place for both men and women. The Kagura of the female character first place may be easy to imagine because it is a character constantly having a Japanese traditional umbrella.
Let’s see the experience rate of “Aiai-gasa”. As you can see from the results of the questionnaire, the actual condition of a woman’s “Aiai-gasa” is the most loving. Next, friends of the same sex, closely followed by family members. If you look at the experience of “Aiai-gasa” with a heterosexual friend they like before dating, women are less than 30%. On the other hand, men exceed 40%. Men may need to consider this 10% difference.
The first person who seems to be good in “Aiai-gasa” is a lover for men, while a family member for women. After all, it seems that there are many people who think that women want distance from the opposite sex. You can read the same trend from the same result that my second place is the same friends. Japanese women may be prudish against opposite sex. Therefore, it can be said that their wish for “Aiai-gasa” is strong.
3.2. Likes and dislikes of “Aiai-gasa”
There are questionnaires that asked women whether they like or dislike “Aiai-gasa”. Women like it at 45.6%, and what they dislike is 54.4%. Many women have the premise that they are going out for reasons that people like “Aiai-gasa”, “cling to nature” and “to feel loved”.
On the other hand, the opinion of those who dislike “Aiai-gasa” is “The adults get wet and eventually hard to walk”, “The eyes around me are also anxious”. Even if you put it in an umbrella physically when you are a child, it seems that efficiency is bad because it will protrude when you grow up.
Certainly, it may cause such reasons that you will not do “Aiai-gasa” as you become an adult. And it is “disgusting” for women to have “Aiai-gasa” if they are people who care about their eyes.
3.3. Love Skill of “Aiai-gasa”
When a man offers “Aiai-gasa” to a woman, the attitude of the woman tells whether she likes or dislikes that man. However, depending on the position of the man who offers it, you should know that there are cases where she declines his offer with good intentions. For example, if a man is wearing a suit that is likely expensive, or if she knows that the man is in a hurry, she may decline his offer of caring for him.
If you know that the other party does not think of you as a partner, you try to maintain a friendly relationship with the other party. Conversely, if you know that the other party thinks of you as a partner, you actively approach that person. “Aiai-gasa” is a very convenient romantic technique as one measure of relationships with the person in mind.
Let’s introduce the commonly used “Aiai-gasa” technique here. First of all, men should never let women get wet with rain. If you do this surely, men get wet. When women notice that, it becomes a turning point of romance. The point is whether women will shorten the distance with men so that men will not get wet with the rain. If distance does not change, men will get wet with rain and his tears. If the distance gets shortened, women will get wet in the rain a little, but for the two people, such a thing will not matter. Be happy!
It’s also a popular technique to pull the other person’s body casually when avoiding a puddle, or to switch the place so that a man walks on the side of the roadway when a car or bicycle comes. Furthermore, avoiding slippery braille blocks and iron scaffolds is also an effective technique when women are wearing heels. The point of caution is not to approach the other person more than necessary and to keep good manners firmly.
“Aiai-gasa” that can fully enter a personal space is an event that is quite remote for everyday people for Japanese who often distance from the other person. However, in Japan, it is often a chance to open a personal space because people can catch a cold if they get wet in the rain. However, “Aiai-gasa” is not necessarily related to a love affair, but it often develops into love at the same time.
Also, even if a man and woman do not associate “Aiai-gasa” with any romantic implications, other people may take it wrong. And the fact that women are more likely to have “Aiai-gasa” with friends and families of the same sex than a heterosexual would have understood how special it is for a woman to do it with a man.
And if you read up so far, you can understand the psychological description hidden in the scene of “Aiai-gasa” often seen in drama and animation, and you will be able to enjoy the work more deeply. Because “Aiai-gasa” is special in animation, it is likely that the producer is making it with excitement.