Hasui Kawase explored the many moods inspired by rain in his exquisite wood block prints. I've picked out five of them to write about here. I think this small selection shows off the range of meaning and emotion to be found in this climactic subject matter.
I start with the brightest, most cheery of my selections. Kasuga Shrine in Nara depicts a couple sharing a blue umbrella in the rain outside a shrine. The vivid, red trim of the shrine is complimented by several shades of green foliage. Everything appears clean, and I can imagine inhaling that fresh, outdoorsy scent that often accompanies a spring drizzle. The couple is turned away from the viewers, as if to emphasize that this is their private moment of togetherness.
So small are we. Some day our faces will all wash away, our colors go grey, and our voices be drowned out. Rain can cleanse what it touches, but it can also dissolve.