Autumn (aki)

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Autumn (aki) 秋

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: All Autumn
***** Category: Heavens and others


The autumn season in Japanese Haiku
is fixed according to the Asian lunar calendar from the beginning of autumn at the eighth of August until the seventh of November.
In reality the autumn in Central Japan lasts roughly from September to the end of November.
There are many kigo with relation to "Autumn", we will start to pick them up here.
Gabi Greve

WKD : The Asian Lunar Calendar

. . . . AUTUMN - the complete SAIJIKI

. Autumn Moon (aki no tsuki 秋の月)  
The most important autumn kigo in all details.

Koshihata Village, Okayama, 2008
. Takadono 高殿鑪 in Koshihata .

In the agrarian rice cultures of Asia, spring for planting and autumn for harvesting were the most important seasons.
Autumn was also a time to give thanks to the deities for a bountiful harvest.

In the court poetry of the Heian period, autumn became a season for autumn melancholy and the fading away of things, especially the ending of a love affair.
aki 飽き to get bored with things, a homonym of AKI.

春 はただ花の一重に咲くばかり

haru wa tada hana no hitoe ni saku bakari
mono no aware wa aki zo masareru

Blooms simply
in one petal of the cherry blossoms -
In autumn mono no aware
is at its highest.

Shuishu 拾遺集 / 拾遺和歌集
Tr. Norinaga Motoori, Michael F. Marra



miwataseba hana mo momiji mo nakarikeri
ura no tomaya no aki no yugure

As I look around
cherry blossoms or crimson leaves
are not to be found -
by the rush-thatched hut along the shore
in autumn's evening dusk.

Fujiwara no Teika, Shinkokin-shu

Maples and Japanese Literature - Hayashida Hajime
source : mohsho.image.coocan.jp

. Seasons ending - kigo collection .


kigo for early autumn

aki meku 秋めく あきめく autumn at its best
..... akizuku 秋づく(あきづく)
..... akijimu 秋じむ(あきじむ)

autumn begins, hatsu aki 初秋 (はつあき)
..... aki hajime 秋初め(あきはじめ)
..... shoshuu 初秋(しょしゅう)
"new autumn", shinshuu 新秋(しんしゅう)
"head of autumn", shushuu 首秋(しゅしゅう)

beginning of autumn, jooshuu 上秋(じょうしゅう)
mooshuu 孟秋(もうしゅう)
chooshuu 肇秋(ちょうしゅう), ranshuu 蘭秋(らんしゅう)

early autumn, sooshuu 早秋(そうしゅう)
dooshuu 桐秋(とうしゅう)
bonshuu 盆秋(ぼんしゅう)

autumn is "thin", aki asashi 秋浅し(あきあさし)
early into autumn, akiguchi 秋口(あきぐち)

"autumn stands up", risshuu 立秋 (りっしゅう)
aki tatsu 秋立つ(あきたつ)

autumn of this morning, kesa no aki 今朝の朝(けさのあさ)
autumn of today, kyoo no aki 今日の秋(きょうのあき)

autumn is coming, aki kuru 秋来る(あきくる)
aki saru 秋さる(あきさる)

entering autumn, aki ni iru 秋に入る(あきにいる)

. WKD : Beginning of a Season .


kigo for mid-autumn

shuusha 秋社 (しゅうしゃ) autumn shrine
aki no shanichi 秋の社日(あきのしゃにち) day of the autumn shrine visit

. Tanokami 田の神 Field Kami and festivals .

"Spring Shrine" shunsha 春社


kigo for late autumn

banshuu 晩秋 (ばんしゅ) late autumn
..... oso aki 晩秋(おそあき)
..... kishuu 季秋(きしゅう)
matsushuu 末秋(まつしゅう)
sue no aki 末の秋(すえのあき)

. yuku aki 行く秋 (ゆくあき)  autumn is leaving
"fleeting autumn" (tr. Higginson)
and more kigo about this part of the season.

Worldwide use

Autumn in England

silent willow leather
village green abandoned-
crimson leaves fall

Paul Oxberry, 2007


By Soji

Things found on the way

"The turning of the leaves in the American autumn is, in its own way, wonderful, but it lacks a poignancy and an elegance suggestive of the passing of time.
There is nothing in the world as all-encompassing as Japanese nature. Religion, art, history and literature are latent within it.""
Masako Shirasu 白洲正子 (1910-98)

Reference : Masako Shirasu
Famous collector and writer about Japanese art and antiques.
Her husband was the politician Jiro Shirasu 白洲次郎.

. Buaisō 武相荘 Buaiso villa .
home of Jirō Shirasu and his wife Masako in Machida, Tokyo.

Autumn Haiku Collection and Thoughts
Roger Pulvers, September 2010


. Autumn: Reflections on the Season  
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
October 2010


秋たつや何におどろく陰陽師 (おんみょうじ)
aki tatsu ya nani ni odoroku onmyooji
(Blyth is quoted as writing "inyôshi".)

autumn begins -
why is the fortune-teller
looking so surprised?

Tr. Gabi Greve

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .


autumn dusk
scarecrow points
to the rising moon

Philip D Noble


- - - - - Kobayashi Issa - - - - -

one by one
everyone has left
autumn wind

© Haiga by Jerry Dreesen

aki tatsu ya nereba me ni tsuku yuki no yama

fall's here --
lying down, all I see
are snowy mountains

Tr. Chris Drake

This early autumn hokku is from 7/6 (August 27) of 1808, the day before the 7/7 Tanabata Star Festival, when Issa is in his hometown, having returned four days earlier. He's making the trip in order to attend the Buddhist 33rd year memorial service for his grandfather and to discuss his father's will with his half-brother and mother-in-law. Unlike Edo, where Issa is living in 1808, his hometown is surrounded in the distance by high mountains, and signs of autumn appear earlier here than in the city.

At first Issa doesn't really notice the peaks, and if you're standing up inside it's hard to see them. When he lies down on a floor or on some grass, however, his perspective changes and he has time to really look. He's amazed at how white the mountains actually are already. You could tell fall had arrived even if you didn't have a calendar. There seems to be a subliminal link between physically lying down, the snow cover descending the mountain slopes, and the year beginning to grow cooler, almost as if it were getting ready to lie down. Lying down also suggests closeness to the floor and the earth, and I wonder if this hokku doesn't suggest an old, childhood way of feeling time that is gradually returning to Issa's consciousness.

Chris Drake

. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .

ten hiroku chi hiroku aki mo yuku aki zo

vast sky
vast earth - autumn is now
a passing autumn . . .



© Origa (Olga Hooper)


Renga by Isabelle, Sakuo and Gabi (translating a bit)
Kigo Discussion Group, September 2005

asa no kumo
aki no owari o
ori ni keri

izuko no aki mo
onaji aki kana

... ... ...

morning spider
end of summer

where ever there is autumn
it is the same autumn

... ... ...

Spinne am Morgen
das Ende des Sommers
webt sie

wo immer es Herbst ist
der gleiche Herbst


Related words

*****. Autum Cherry Shikizakura (Japan)

***** . Autumn Equinox (aki higan) Japan

***** . Autumn deepens, autumn is deep (aki fukashi) Japan

***** . Autumn Festival (aki matsuri) Japan

***** . Autumn Leaves (momiji) Japan. yellow leaves, colored leaves

***** . Autumn Melancholy Europe

***** "loneliness in autumn" autumn melancholy,
aki sabu 秋寂ぶ (あきさぶ)
SABU, means also "getting rusty", autumn is rusting. It may also hint to the color of the autumn leaves.

***** Cold weather in autumn, winter and spring . .

***** Withered tips, withered scene, uragare 末枯 うらがれ
ura garuru 末枯るる(うらがるる)
kigo for late autumn

kiete yuku no mo uragare no hotoke kana

Fields dying off:
the underside of grasses frozen
hour of my death.

© Gokei


***** Fine weather in autumn, akibare 秋晴れ
..... aki no hare 秋の晴れ
..... aki biyori 秋日和 あきびより

***** Autumn evening, autumn dusk,
aki no kure 秋の暮

Details are here:
. Autumn dusk, autumn twilight (aki no kure) Japan

***** Autumn night, aki no yuube, aki no yoru
秋の夕べ 。 秋の夜

You can feel the red shine of the late sun in the sky, but know it is over soon. So the feeling of things passing, loneliness and melancoly are very strong. Same as in autumn dusk.

***** Autumn deepens (aki fukashi)

***** Seasons coming to an end ..
relevant kigo for all seasons, including AUTUMN.

***** AUTUMN FOOD ... ... a KIGO LIST

***** . AUTUMN KIGO LIST ... Category SEASON

***** . HUMANITY and autumn kigo ... LIST


***** Lamplight in autumn, lanterns in autumn (shuutoo) Japan


kigo for early autumn

***** Lingering Heat (zansho 残暑 nokoru atsusa 残る暑さ):
shuusho 秋暑(しゅうしょ), aki atsushi 秋暑し(あきあつし)
sensho 餞暑(せんしょ)"farewell heat"

This referst to hot days after the official beginning of Autumn according to the the Asian lunar calendar of risshuu 立秋, August 8 . The word "lingering" zan in Japanese, gives the haiku poet a feeling of "not for long any more", and the heat will be easier to bear.
zanshoo lets us feel the heat of summer, whereas
shuusho lets us feel a welcome "cool" heat of autumn

A warm spell after it has been cool for a while is rather welcome and called
warm autumn day, aki atsushi 秋暑し

lingering heat
the squirrel runs from
green to brown

Owen Burkhart


Autumn deepens (aki fukashi) Japan. Basho's famous haiku translations

Spring (haru, Japan)
Summer (natsu, Japan)
Winter (fuyu, Japan)



Unknown said...



Gabi Greve said...

Himalayan valley ~
another mountain grows
autumn clouds ~

autumn twilight ~
song of Ganges cleaves
the sunny stones

Narayanan Raghunathan


Gabi Greve said...

clouds assemble
over London autumn ~
Thames flows on ~

Narayanan Raghunathan


Gabi Greve said...

Some October Haiku

the rain barrels
so thirsty

dry bean pods
someone forgot to pick
rattling wind

grape harvest's in
a scarecrow flaps his hands
and nods

deep tree shadows
autumn hills show off
their gold

"Billie Dee"

Gabi Greve said...


Clear water in autumn, mizu sumu 水澄む


Gabi Greve said...

Fingers weaving winds
Into shawls of autumn chill:
Pine trees beckoning.

Michael R. Collings, USA

Anonymous said...

Autumn is a second spring
when every leaf
is a flower.

~Albert Camus

Look at some poetry and photos about AUTUMN 2007.

Gabi Greve said...

falling leaves -
autumn descends
silently stalking winter

Ruth Nott


Anonymous said...

"Autumn's begun"
just saying it
I feel cold

aki tatsu to iu bakari demo samusa kana


by Issa, 1822

Tr. David Lanoue http://cat.xula.edu/issa/

Gabi Greve said...

Our plastic autumn
Reminds us how far we’ve come
And what we have lost
Res John Burman
Joys of Japan

Anonymous said...

Kokinshū: (ca. 905-1433)

Autumn has surely come
colored leaves carpet the
ground before my house-
no visitor treads a path
through ever-deepening drifts.


aki wa kinu
momiji wa yado ni
michi fumiwakete
tou hito wa nashi.

Gabi Greve said...

ushibeya ni ka no koe kuraki zanshoo kana

In a cowshed,
mosquitoes buzzing darkly -
lingering summer heat

Matsuo Basho
(Tr. Shirane)

Written in Genroku 4, seventh lunar month.

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