List of kigo


List of kigo

This is a list of kigo, which are words or phrases that are associated with a particular season. They provide an economy of expression that is especially valuable in the very short Japanese poetry form known as haiku, as well as the longer linked-verse forms known as renku and renga, to indicate the season referenced in the poem or stanza.

Japanese seasons

Until 1873, in the Japanese calendar, seasons traditionally followed the lunisolar calendar with the solstices and equinoxes at the middle of a season. The traditional Japanese seasons are:

:Spring: 4 February—5 May:Summer: 6 May—7 August:Autumn: 8 August—6 November:Winter: 7 November—3 February

For kigo, each season is then divided into early, mid-, and late periods. For Spring, these would be:

:Early Spring: 4 February—5 March (February):Mid-Spring: 6 March—4 April (March):Late Spring: 5 April—5 May (April)

"Saijiki"

Japanese haiku poets often use a book called a "saijiki", which is like a dictionary or almanac for "kigo". An entry in a "saijiki" usually includes a description of the kigo itself, plus a list of similar or related words, and then a few examples of haiku that include that kigo. The saijiki are divided into the four seasons (and modern saijiki usually include a section for the "New Year" and another section for "Seasonless" ("Muki") words). Those sections are divided into a standard set of categories, and then the kigo are sorted within their proper category. The most common categories are:
* The Season
* The Earth
* Humanity
* Observances
* Animals
* Plants

Notice that although haiku are often thought of as poems about nature, two of the seven categories are primarily about human activities (Humanity and Observances).

List of kigo

This is a list of both Japanese and non-Japanese kigo. If the kigo is a Japanese word, or if there is a Japanese translation in parentheses next to the English kigo, then the kigo can be found in most major Japanese "saijiki".

[note: An asterisk (*) after the Japanese name for the kigo denotes an external link to a saijiki entry for the kigo with example haiku that is part of the " [http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese/haiku/saijiki/index.html Japanese haiku: a topical dictionary] " website.]

pring: 4 February—5 May

The season

* 'Spring ("haru") - the name of season is a "kigo" or season word. Other combinations are Spring begins ("Haru tatsu"), Signs of Spring ("haru meku"), Sea in the spring ("haru no umi"), Spring being gone ("Yuku haru"). Higan of Spring (春彼岸, "haru higan", literary beyond the border of this world), one week around Spring Equinox ("shunbun") has a significant period for Buddhist to soothe their ancestors' souls and grave-visiting as well as Higan of Autumn.
* February ("kisaragi" or "nigatsu"), March ("yayoi" or "sangatsu") and April ("uzuki" or "shigatsu"). The third month ("sangatsu") in the Japanese calendar is equivalent roughly to the April in the Gregorian calendar, therefore End of March ("sangatsujin") is equal to End of Spring ("haru no hate").
* Warm ("atatakashi" or "nurumu") - all spring - as the weather changes from the cold of Winter, any warming is noticed. Also Water becomes warm ("mizu nurumu").
* Spring mist or Spring haze ("kasumi") - all spring - the daytime haze of Spring. The nighttime haze during Spring that can obscure the moon is called "oboro". "Haruichiban", the first strong southerly wind of the Spring is used as kigo in the modern haiku.

The sky and heavens

* tornado season - the Tornado Alley area of the United States - the tornado season varies depending upon latitude, with it peaking from late winter through mid summer.

The earth

Humanity

Observances

* "Hanamatsuri" (Blossom Festival), Buddhist festival celebrating the birth of Buddha, on April 8.
* "Hinamatsuri" (Girl's Day) Doll Festival and "Hina" (doll) - a traditional Japanese festival for girls on March 3.

Animals

* frogs ("kawazu") - all spring (February-April) - noted for their loud singing
* skylarks ("hibari") - all Spring - noted for their songs in flight, swallows ("tsubame") mid-spring, twittering ("saezuri") - all Spring - the chirping of songbirds
* "uguisu" (鶯, Japanese Bush Warbler (sometimes translated as Japanese nightingale), "Cettia diphone") - early spring - the bird is used as an example of sweet sounds. Uguisu were mentioned in the preface to the Kokin Wakashū. It is often associated with ume blossoms and new growth in early Japanese waka and is regarded as a harbinger of spring (春告鳥, "harutsugedori", literary "bird which announces the arrival of Spring"). ""
*Whale watching - In different areas the number of whales off the coast peak at different times of the year. For Japan, whales ("kujira") are most often seen during the Winter. In Southern California, (Pacific Gray Whales can usually be seen during the Spring, viewing them from the coast or on whale-watching boat trips as they go to and from their breeding lagoon in Baja California.

Plants

* Jacaranda - a Tropical American ornamental tree that can also be found in many of the older neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area. The large tree has an abundance of blue-purple flowers in mid-spring.
* "ume" blossom - early spring
* "sakura" (cherry blossoms) and cherry blossom-viewing ("hanami") - late spring (April) - for the Japanese, cherry blossoms are such a common topic that in just mentioning blossoms ("hana") in haiku it is assumed they are cherry blossoms. Blossom-viewing is an occasion for partying with friends or coworkers.
*desert wildflowers - depending upon location wildflowers can peak from Spring through Summer, but for the deserts near Southern California, such as Joshua Tree National Park, there will be a colorful carpet of wildflowers in the Spring after a good Winter rainy season.

ummer: 6 May—7 August

The season

* dog days
* midsummer
*Summer ("natsu"); other combinations are Summer has come ("natsu kinu"), End of summer ("natsu no hate"). Summer holidays ("natsu yasumi") means mainly the school holiday.
*May ("satsuki" or "gogatsu"), June ("minazuki" or "rokugatsu", July ("fumizuki" or "fuzuki")
*hot ("atsushi"), hotness ("atsusa") and hot day ("atsuki hi"); also, anything related to the heat, including sweat ("ase") and in contemporary haiku, air conditioning ("reibō")

The sky and heavens

* June Gloom - the heavy overcast that is usually found on the coast in Southern California
*Monsoon season - the timing of the heavy rains of the monsoon season can vary, but for the southwest coast of Sri Lanka and India, they happen from late May to October.
* the Pleiades at dawn ("subaru")
*Rainy season ("tsuyu") - the Japanese rainy season, usually starting in mid-June, also rainbow ("niji")
*Smog ("sumoggu") - in some areas, such as the Los Angeles Basin, an inversion layer makes the smog worse during the Summer.
*Sunset
* Hurricane Season - for the Caribbean and the east coast of North America, plus surrounding areas, it is Hurricane Season during the Summer and Autumn months, peaking in early September.

The earth

* Fire Season and Forest fires - areas with a Mediterranean climate, such as Western Australia, coastal California, and Spain have their Summer Fire Season. For Southern California, there is a danger of fires in the local hills and mountains that starts with the very dry months of July and August, running through the early rains of Winter.
*summer field or summer meadow (i.e. the abundance of summer wildflowers)
*waterfall ("taki")

Humanity

*nap or siesta ("hirune")
*nudity
* Summer sports: Surfing, Beach volleyball, Rollerblading & Skateboarding
*sushi
*sunbathing
*swimming pool

Observances

*A-Bomb Anniversary (August 6th)
*Dominion Day (July 1st, Canada)
* Tango no sekku traditional festival for boys on May 5. See "Hinamatsuri" in Spring for the girls festival. Festival ("matsuri") is applied to summer festivals of Shintoism for purification. Traditionally it meant the fest of Kamo Shrine in Kyoto, however as kigo it can be applied to each local Shinto festival.

Animals

*cicada ("semi") - late summer (July) - known for their cries
*Grunion - a sardine-sized fish found off the California coast that spawns by laying its eggs in the sand at high tide near midnight
* hototogisu (Little Cuckoo - "C. poliocephalis") - all summer (May-July) - the hototogisu is a bird in the Cuckoo family noted for its song
*jellyfish ("kurage")
*mosquito ("ka")
* snakes ("hebi")

Plants

*lily
*lotus flower ("hasu" or "hachisu")
*orange blossoms
*sunflower
*wisteria ("fuji"), "hana tachibana" (wild orange blossoms) and iris ("ayame" or "hanashoubu") - early summer (May), water lily ("suiren") - mid and late summer.

Autumn: 8 August—6 November

The season

* Autumn ("aki"); other combinations are Autumn has come ("aki kinu"), Autumn is ending ("aki hatsu"), Autumn being gone ("yuku aki").
* August ("hazuki" or "hachigazu"), September ("nagatsuki" or "kugatsu") and October ("jūgatsu" or "kamnazuki"). The ninth month ("kugatsu") in the Japanese calendar is equivalent roughly to October in the Gregorian calendar, therefore End of September ("kugatsujin") is equal to End of Autumn ("aki no hate").

The sky and heavens

* Hurricane Season - the Caribbean and the east coast of North America, plus surrounding areas, it is Hurricane Season during the Summer and Autumn months, peaking in early September.
* Milky Way ("amanogawa". lit. "river of heaven"), because in the autumn it is most visible in Japan. It is associated with "Tanabata".
* moon ("tsuki") - all autumn (August-October), and moon-viewing ("tsukimi") mid-autumn (September) - the word "moon" by itself is assumed to be a full moon in autumn. (Moon-viewing and leaf-viewing in autumn (along with snow-viewing ("yukimi") in winter and cherry blossom-viewing in spring) are common group activities in Japan.)
* Typhoon ("taifu" or "nowaki"), thunder ("kaminari")

The earth

Humanity

* Scarecrow ("kakashi"), rice cropping ("inekari") - rice harvest and relevant things are significant for Japanese life.

Observances

*El dia de los muertos - the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration on November 1st and 2nd.
* Tanabata (the festival of the weaver maiden and the herdsman in the Heavenly Court), Grave-Visiting ("haka mairi"), and Bon Festival (ancestors' spirits come home to share the ceremonial and festival time with descendant family, "urabon-e") - all early autumn (August) - are kigo as well as associated ornaments and activities like small bonfires called "mukae-bi" (welcome-fire for ancestors' spirits) and folk dancing ("bon odori"), among other things. Though the date of Tanabata is 7th day of the 7th month of Japanese calendar, therefore in August of the Gregorian one, today in many places it is celebrated on July 7, hence there is a dispute as to whether Tanabata is much fit to be treated as a Summer kigo.

Animals

* Insects ("mushi"), mainly it implies singing one. Also crickets ("kōrogi") - all autumn (August-October) - noted for the singing of the males

Plants

* Nashi pear (梨 "nashi"), Chaenomeles ("boke no mi"), peach ("momo"), persimmon ("kaki"), apples ("ringo") and grapes ("budō") are examples of fruit that are used as autumn kigo.
* colored leaves ("momiji") - late autumn (October) - a very common topic for haiku along with related topics such as first colored leaves ("hatsu momiji") mid-autumn, shining leaves ("teri momiji") late autumn, leaves turning color ("usumomiji") mid-autumn, leaves start to fall ("momiji katsu chiru") late autumn, etc. Leaf-viewing ("momijigari") is a common group activity.

Winter: 7 November—3 February

The season

*Winter ("fuyu"), using "winter" in a haiku adds a sense of chilliness (literally and figuratively), bleakness, and seclusion to the poem.
* November ("shimotsuki" or "jūichigatsu"), December ("shiwasu" or "jūnigatsu") and January ("mutsuki" or "ichigatsu")
*Cold ("samushi") and Coldness ("samusa").

The sky and heavens

*Santa Ana Winds - hot, dry winds that usually happen in Winter in Southern California
*Smog ("sumoggu") -inversion layers help concentrate the smog over a city during the winter

The earth

Humanity

*snow-viewing ("yukimi") - late winter (January) - a popular group activity in Japan. Also first snow ("hatsu yuki") mid winter, snow ("yuki") late winter, and ice ("kōri") late winter.
*fugu soup ("fugujiru"), Anglerfish or sea-devil stew ("ankō nabe"), oyster ("kaki") - seasonal dishes.
*Calendar vendor ("koyomiuri") - preparation for the new year.

Observances

*Christmas - this is a modern kigo. It wasn't used in the Edo period, when Christianity was forbidden.
*New Year's Eve ("ōmisoka" or "toshi no yo", literary "The End of year"), and the New Year's Eve party ("toshiwasure").
*Kan ("kan"), days from January 5 (or 6) till February 4 (or 5) (literary Coldness) - derived originally from the Chinese 24 seasonal periods. Also Daikan (Great Coldness) a day around 20 January, or Beginning of Kan season ("kan no iri", 5 or 6 January).

Animals

Plants

*fallen leaves ("ochiba") and dry leaves ("kareha") - all winter (November-January) - just as "colored leaves" are a clear sign of Autumn, "fallen leaves" are a sign of winter.

New Year

This group of kigo is a modern invention. Before Japan began using the Gregorian calendar (in 1873), the Japanese New Year was at the beginning of Spring.

The season

*Japanese New Year (正月 "shōgatsu") [http://hatbox.lib.virginia.edu/servlet/SaxonServlet?source=http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese/haiku/HigHaik.xml&style=http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese/haiku/long.xsl&clear-stylesheet-cache=yes&entryid=ganjitsu *] As in many other cultures, the Japanese New Year is an important time of year for celebrations and there are many activities associated with it that may be mentioned in haiku, including some "firsts": first sun ("hatsuhi"), first laughter ( "hatsuwarai" or "waraizome"), and first calligraphy ("kakizome"). There is also New Year's Day ("ganjitsu").

The sky and heavens

Humanity

*New Year's Day customs: "kadomatsu" [http://hatbox.lib.virginia.edu/servlet/SaxonServlet?source=http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese/haiku/HigHaik.xml&style=http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese/haiku/long.xsl&clear-stylesheet-cache=yes&entryid=kadomatsu *] (a traditional decoration usually made of pine and bamboo that is place on the gate or outer doorway), otoshidama (the custom of giving pocket money to children), "toso" (a ritual mulled saké only drunk on New Year's Day).
*"osechi" (traditional Japanese New Year's Day food): "zōni" [http://hatbox.lib.virginia.edu/servlet/SaxonServlet?source=http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese/haiku/HigHaik.xml&style=http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese/haiku/long.xsl&clear-stylesheet-cache=yes&entryid=zoniiwau *] (a traditional vegetable broth with mochi—sticky rice cakes. The ingredients for zōni vary greatly between regions in Japan.), seven herbs ("nanakusa") and rice porridge with seven herbs ("nanakusa gayu"), eaten in the evening of January 7.

Observances

* Tournament of Roses Parade - held on New Year's Day morning before the Rose Bowl college football game

Animals

*first sparrow ("hatsu-suzume") [http://hatbox.lib.virginia.edu/servlet/SaxonServlet?source=http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese/haiku/HigHaik.xml&style=http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese/haiku/long.xsl&clear-stylesheet-cache=yes&entryid=hatsu-suzume *] - the first sparrow helps welcome the new year.

Kigo and seasons

"Kigo" are words or phrases associated with a particular season, though sometimes that association can be quite subtle. Pumpkins ("kabocha"), for example, are a winter squash that is associated with the fall harvest. Furthermore, for people living in the United States, pumpkins are also associated with the Jack-o'-lanterns of Halloween. A little later in the year pumpkins are also associated with the pumpkin pies that are often part of the Thanksgiving Day dinner along with turkey and cranberries.


Galileo spacecraft.
But why is the "moon" ("tsuki") an autumn kigo since it is up in the sky all year long? Autumn is when the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer but are still warm enough to stay outside, so you are more likely to notice the moon. Often the night sky will be free of clouds so that also helps with noticing the moon. Autumn is also the time when the full moon can help farmers work under the moonlight to harvest their crops (see "harvest moon"). [For more on the moon as a kigo see the article on kigo] .

ee also

* haiku
* haiku in English
* culture of Japan
* hokku
* renku
* renga
* season

Helpful lists of species

Birds
* Lists of birds by region
* List of European birds
*
*
* List of North American birds

ources

* 『入門歳時記』大野林火監修、俳句文学館編。角川書店 、ISBN 4-04-063000-9. [Title: "Introductory Saijiki", editor: "Ōno Rinka", Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten ]
* "Haiku World: An International Poetry Almanac" by William J. Higginson, Kodansha International © 1996 ISBN 4-7700-2090-2 (An international haiku saijiki with over 1,000 haiku and senryu from poets in 50 countries covering 680 seasonal topics)
* "The Haiku Seasons: Poetry of the Natural World" by William J. Higginson, Kodansha International © 1996 ISBN 4-7700-1629-8 (a companion book to "Haiku World" discussing the development of haiku, and the importance of the seasons and kigo to haiku)

External links

* [http://renku.home.att.net/500ESWd.html The five hundred essential Japanese season words] Selected by Kenkichi Yamamoto and translated by William Higginson and Kris Young Kondo
* [http://renku.home.att.net/seasons.html The Traditional Seasons of Japanese Poetry] by William Higginson
* [http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese/haiku/saijiki/ Japanese Haiku - a Topical Dictionary] at the [http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/japanese/ Univ. of Virginia Japanese Text Initiative] a work-in-progress based on the Nyu-mon Saijiki by the Museum of Haiku Literature in Tokyo, most translations by William Higginson and Lewis Cook
* [http://www.youngleaves.org/poetry/The%20Yuki%20Teikei%20Haiku%20Season%20Word%20List.htm The Yuki Teikei Haiku Season Word List] from the [http://www.youngleaves.org/ Yuki Teikei Haiku Society] (Northern California)
* [http://worldkigodatabase.blogspot.com/ World Kigo Database] Gabi Greve's project supported by the World Haiku Club
* [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WHCworldkigo/ WHC World Kigo Discussion Forum] Discussing and collecting worldwide kigo.
* [http://www.ahapoetry.com/aadoh/adofinde.htm A Dictionary of Haiku - Classified by Season Words with Traditional and Modern Methods] by Jane Reichhold
* [http://www.kyoshi.or.jp/12month/12month-1.htm Haiku in Twelve Months] at the [http://www.kyoshi.or.jp/e-index.htm Kiyoshi Memorial Museum] (Takahama Kyoshi)
* Season words from the Shiki mailing list kukai
** [http://haiku.cc.ehime-u.ac.jp/~shiki/kukai/kiyose-spring.html Spring season words]
** [http://haiku.cc.ehime-u.ac.jp/~shiki/kukai/kiyose-summer.html Summer season words]
** [http://haiku.cc.ehime-u.ac.jp/~shiki/kukai/kiyose-autumn.html Autumn season words]
** [http://haiku.cc.ehime-u.ac.jp/~shiki/kukai/kiyose-winter.html Winter season words]
* [http://www.tempslibres.org/aozora/en/asc/aart01.html Beyond Kigo: Haiku in the Next Millennium by Jim Kacian] on using keywords in haiku

Online lists of regional season words
* [http://home.gci.net/%7Ealaskahaiku/saijiki.html Alaska Haiku Society Saijiki] a work in progress, with pictures and commentary for some kigo
* [http://users.mullum.com.au/jbird/jb_H_seasons_notes.html Australia season words]
* [http://worldkigodatabase.blogspot.com/2006/12/german-kiyose.html WKD: German Kiyose]
* [http://kenyasaijiki.blogspot.com/ WKD: Kenya and Tropical Season Words]
* [http://indiasaijikiworlkhaiku.blogspot.com/ WKD: India Season Words]
* [http://europasaijiki.blogspot.com/2005/09/ireland-saijiki.html WKD: Ireland Season Words]
* [http://members.fortunecity.com/karina16/north_american_prairie_saijikipageone.html North American Prairie season words]


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