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In the famous story 風の又三郎, the sound どう is used to describe the wind in several places, including the song in the intro.

One such place is:

青ぞらで風がどうと鳴り、日光は運動場いっぱいでした

I did some research, and it seems that 「どう」 is not a normal way to express the sound of wind in Japanese. I have heard that Mr. Miyazawa is "a master of onomatopoeia" so I guess he made this expression up himself.

However, no matter how I think about it I cannot seem to match any sound of wind I have heard before with "doh".

How to Japanese people interpret this? Is this supposed to be the sound of something slapping against something else due to the strong wind?

If it was "dooooooh" I might understand it as a blowing sound, but it is always short, especially in the introduction song, which I have heard read very quickly in readings. So it seems more percussive than blowing.

  • I'd say he had a peculiar way of perceiving and expressing sounds. I wouldn't think too much about the rationale behind it. (I'm not opposed to it, though!) "どう" is not a usual onomatopoeia for me, but I tend to associate it with "boom", like "ごう" or "ゴーッ". – goldbrick Nov 3 '16 at 0:33
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Like ごう, which is also sometimes used for strong winds, I think どう may represent the lower frequency sounds caused by strong winds.

The higher frequency sounds would be びゅうびゅう or ひゅうひゅう etc.

  • Thanks for the response. I think ごう sounds more appropriate for this purpose. どう still sounds too percussive to me, but maybe I just have to learn imagine better how the sound would fit. – Locksleyu Nov 2 '16 at 23:40

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