Grapes (budoo)


Grapes (budoo) and wine

***** Location: Japan, Europe, other areas
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Plant


Grapes, and one of their products, the wine, give us pleasure during the whole year. Here I will introduce some kigo related to this fruit.

The origin of the grapes is probably Western Asia, but now it is grown almost everywhere in the world. In Japan, grapes were introduced during the Heian period in a special way, using separate shelves for each plant. Now the region of Kooshuu 甲州 in Yamanashi is maybe the most famous wine-growing area.

In my area of Okayama prefecture, Japan, huge pione grapes are grown for eating (or rather giving away as presents), since they are extremely expensive.

Gabi Greve, September 2005

Look at a few more PIONE photos



flowers of the grapes, budoo no hana 葡萄の花
..... kigo for early summer

The flowers are very small and of a yellow-greenish color. They look almost like the stem, but they have a faint sweet smell.


kigo for late summer

aobudoo, ao budoo 青葡萄 (あおぶどう) green grapes



kigo for early autumn

wild grapes, mountain grapes, yamabudoo 山葡萄
Vitis coignetiae)
They are extremely delicious and loved by the wild animals too. They can grow in colder areas than the usual grapes. In autumn, they also show a lovely red color of the leaves. When ripe, the small fruit are almost black. They make a delicious wine out of it in my area in Okayama, Japan. You can only drink it when someone gives a bottle as a present, it is just tooo expensive.

Two more types of wild grapes as kigo

nobudoo 野葡萄 (のぶどう) wild grapes
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata Ampelopsis
hebibudoo / jabuoo 蛇葡萄(へびぶどう)"serpent grapes"
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata var.heterophylla


kigo for mid-autumn

grapes, budoo, budō 葡萄
Muscat マスカット
Pione ピオーネ

grapes from Kooshuu, kooshuu budoo 甲州葡萄
black grapes, kuro budoo 黒葡萄
vinyard, budoo-en 葡萄園

shelf for growing grapes, budoo tana 葡萄棚



kigo for late autumn

red leaves of the vine, budoo momiji 葡萄紅葉

budooshu kamosu 葡萄酒醸す (ぶどうしゅかもす)
to make wine

. . . budooshu seisu 葡萄酒製す(ぶどうしゅせいす)
. . . budooshuu tsukuru 葡萄酒作る(ぶどうしゅつくる)
. . . wain tsukuru ワイン作る(わいんつくる)
. . . wain matsuri ワイン祭(わいんまつり)

***** Grape Festival (Winzerfest, Wine festival)

Japanese wine


kigo for all winter

dried vine plants, budoo karu 葡萄枯る

Worldwide use


Dancing under the Grape Shelves in the oasis Turfan

Look at a beautiful photo here:



Trauben. Weinberg. Weinlese, Traubenlese.

Things found on the way

The Father of Japanese Grapes and Wine
Kawakami Zenbei

The history of wine in Japan goes back to the beginning of the Meiji Era (1868-1912). At that time, young grapevines were imported with official encouragement from the government and winemaking was attempted. However, it was difficult to adapt it to the Japanese climate and almost all attempts at growing grapes or making wine ended in failure.

In 1890, Kawakami Zenbei set up the Iwanohara Vineyard in Takada, in snowy Niigata Prefecture and three years later, using grapes he had harvested with his own hands, began making wine.

Read more of this pioneer here:
Kawakami Zenbei


2. Japanese wine production

Legend has it that grape-growing began at Yamanashi, where is major wine and grape produce region now. Wine may have been made from local grapes in Yamanashi in early times and consumed very locally. Yamanashi has the least rainfall and less fatalities soil, therefore rice can not be grown in Yamanashi. It is not difficult to assume that people live in Yamanshi compelled to drink wine instead of rice wine called "sake" which is more popular alcohol beverage.
In 1875, the first commercial winery was established in Katsunuma, Yamanashi, which is now a part of Mercian winery which is the second largest company in Japan.

As Mt Fuji provide rain shadow effects in Kofu Valley, Yamanshi has the least rainfall in Japan. But it still has excess 1000mm annual and 800mm rainfall during growing season. Especially, flowering season, in June and early in July is a monsoon season, this causes serious downy and powdery mildew problems. Worthily, just before harvesting, in September, we have typhoon season, sometimes it causes wind damage as well as bunch rot problems. Excess water and fertile soils makes vine vigorously, grape quality can be reduced without careful yield control.  

Read a lot more about the
Japanese Wine Industry


yamabudoo murasaki koboreru yama-biyori

wild grapes -
purple shimmers through
on a fine day in the mountains
(Tr. Gabi Greve)

水原秋桜子 Mizuhara Shuuooshi


waga waki mo budoo no hana o kobosubeshi

阿部青鞋 Abe Seiai


budoo kuu hitokoto hitokoto no gotoku nite

munching grapes -
like saying one word
and one more word
(Tr. Gabi Greve)



matsu to iu koto no sabishikesa ao-budoo

how lonely it is
to wait for someone -
green grapes
(Tr. Gabi Greve)

林翔 Hayashi Shoo


kuroki made murasaki fukaki budoo kana

purple unto

Masaoka Shiki



Der Herbst reift ins Jahr.
Sonnenselig räkeln sich
Die vollen Trauben.

© Hans-Jürgen Murer


> > um den jungen Trieb
> > ein Band knüpfen –
> > lose

> > Pfirsichblüten
> > zwischen den Rebstöcken
> > die jungen Triebe abgebissen

Gerd Börner, 2005


All of New England
in a jar of wild grape jelly
and a clambake

© Helen Stiles Chenoweth


grape smell
invite us for a hike
in the autumn hills

Alex Serban, Romania
autumn 2010

Related words

***** Grape harvest (Weinlese, Traubenlese, Vendanges)
kigo for autumn


Grape Harvest and Grape Festival in Nizas

Taken from a blog by Anthony Tidswell, written over a number of years ~

For a village like Nizas in the heart of the Midi in the South of France, the "vendange", the havest, is the most important time of the year.

The main crop in our village is grapes to make wine. The fields all around the village and for as far as the eye can see are vineyards, but it was not always like this. In the 17th century the cloth from the sheep in this region was world famous, the Port of Sête and the weaving town of Villeneuvette were "New Towns" created by King Louis the 14th. Olives are also grown and are an important commercial crop

The photos are of Akiko, a young lady from San Francisco who stayed with us for a week and was determined to do the vendange.



... ... ...

The dates for the grape harvest vary a little depending on the grape variety and the place. Here in Nizas it is usually the first week in September give or take a couple of days, further south it can be a week or so earlier and north a week or so later. The whole shebang is over in a month, then we drink the wine. Olives are picked in late September for the green ones and in January for the black ones

Most picking is by machine, hand picking is one of the hardest jobs on this earth, no farmer here would employ a 'dude' ranch person even if they paid the farmer for the week. It has been tried and failed, now the quality grapes and the production are too valuable. Teams of hand pickers used to come from Spain, now it is eastern Europe, pay is $5 per hour for a 10 hour day starting at 7.00 am, you are bent double most of the time, unless you are used to it a beginner very rarely gets to the second day.

The best thing is to come and watch and drink last years harvest to make room for this years.


The French phenomenon that the size of the tractor is inversely proportional to the driver is evident everywhere as the miniature vineyard tractors haul huge trailers full of grapes and these are driven by giants of men who look as if they could carry the toy tractor back to the farm in their pockets.

From five in the morning until after midnight, the machines are in the vines driving over the rows with their floodlights playing in the fields. These machines 'whine' like a lost banshee as their hydraulic systems are driven at full throttle.


I have written a few times about "the vendange", the grape harvest. I am getting many letters from readers asking if they can come to France and spend happy days picking grapes and pleasant evenings sitting at rustic tables eating fresh bread and cheese with friends and singing songs until the wine jugs are empty.

The vendange will start soon, but the reality is less romantic. Officially no one can get casual work without being registered, most grapes are now picked by machine and there is nothing romantic about a giant blue or yellow contraption like something from a Star Wars movie thundering along the vines and stripping them of the grapes by the ton.

The few remaining vineyards requiring hand picking are often jealously guarded by the regular workers. By the evening after 8 hours of hard work for a fixed rate of 42FF (US60c) an hour, the last thing most vendangers want to think about is a jug of wine and a sing song, a hot bath is more likely.


So now the grapes are nearly in, we wait with bated breath for the wine festivals. A continuous series of overindulging in speeches by every Mayor in the region and all the officials from every winery plus all their assistants, various other people wearing very bad suits and atrocious ties, some almost sober entertainers and more speeches. This will happen in every one of hundreds of villages in the south of France from mid October for about eight weeks. After these illuminating speeches there is unlimited food and drink supplied free for all who remained awake.

The trick is to arrive not too late to be rude, but late enough to miss at least a couple of hours of speaking. My friend and Jazz saxophone player, Terry Thompson, has this technique of optimum arrival time down to a fine art. It is important to get to the groaning tables at just the right time. The wiser and older villagers know which bottles are worth drinking and you see them sidle up to these with deft movements they flick the best bottles closer to their reach so that when the talking has ceased and the applause had subsided, they are in position to get the first of the best. Fortunately these festivals are staggered (a very apt word) so you can go from one festival to the next for almost two months and eat, drink and be "merry" to your heart's content. Then there are the new year celebrations to prepare for.


Anthony Tidswell

Début des vendanges
Le coteau n'est plus, dès l'aube
Qu'un vaste parking



***** Wine pressing, Stoarcerea strugurilor (Romania)
usually October,
Kigo for Autumn

pressing Riesling grapes
in the most high-tech fashion—
the song is the same …

watching the courtyard
and thinking of my father—
wine-pressing season

the “boring” neighbour
to whom no one will talk, joined
the wine-pressing rush …

Cristian Mocanu

***** Sweet Wine, Must (Romania) Most (Germany)

In October, even cityfolk get to enjoy sweet wine in (sometimes open air) locales. A whole range of urban folklore has flourished in connection with this Must.

Cristian Mocanu

For more see Romanian Saijiki


continue here:

***** Grape Festival (Winzerfest, Wine festival)

WASHOKU : Yamabudoo 山葡萄 wild grapes


Back to the Worldkigo Index



Gabi Greve said...

Die Sonne kämmt die Schatten
aus den Rebstockreihn.

Indian summer.
The sun's combing the shadows
out of the vineyards.

... ... ...

Gleich nach der Lese
der Gärgeruch des Tresters.

Just after the vintage
the smell of fermentation.
Crows cawing.

Klaus-Dieter Wirth


Gabi Greve said...

Grapes Yakushi, Budoo Yakushi 葡萄薬師


Anonymous said...

s prezrelog grozda
pokušava poletjeti -
pripit gundevalj

attempting to fly
off the mellow grape -
a tipsy rose bug

Tomislav Maretić

Anonymous said...

s prezrelog grozda
pokušava poletjeti -
pripit gundevalj

attempting to fly
off the mellow grape -
a tipsy rose bug

Tomislav Maretić

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