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May’s word:  gogatsu byou    ごがつびょう(五月病) May sickness [May sickness]


When one enters a new school or begins a new job and, being unable to adjust to those new surroundings, has trouble sleeping or loses his or her appetite. It is not a specific disease.

In Japan, the school year and company year start in April. Even people who at first go to school or work filled with hopes and motivation may end up feeling tired or stressed after a month has passed.

This kind of situation, where one becomes unsure of himself or herself or loses motivation is called “May sickness”. There are some times where this can be a serious illness, and other times where it’s simply a bad feeling.

Japanese Example

A: Yamada San, Go-rudenwi-ku kara zutto yasundemasu ne.
B: Sou desu ne. Maa, hogatsu byou janai desu ka?
A: Ano hito, mou san nen me desu yo.

English Translation
A: Yamada has been absent ever since Golden Week.
B: That’s true. Well, maybe it’s just May sickness?
A: It’s already his third year in a row…


seasonal Japanese expressions, Gogatsubyo


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