[ . BACK to Worldkigo TOP . ]


***** Location: India, South Asia
***** Season: See below

***** Category: Seasons


In the India Saijiki
we have MONSOON (july-august) as an extra season within a set of six seasons.

Bill Higginson in HAIKU WORLD suggests to use the word
MONSOON or WET SEASON as a kigo for
“All Summer” in South Asia.

Different tropical climates have monsoons at different times. The southwestern coast of Sri Lanka, experiences the southwest monsoon from late May through October, as does the southwest coast of India. The monsoon season features heavy rains and southwest winds that sometimes cause severe flooding, mudslides and the like, especially in coastal areas. Necessary for agriculture, and a welcome relief from the HOT DRY SEASON of February through early May, when temperatures rise into the mid-90s F (mid-30s C) with high humidity, the storms can still create a grim, gray time.
in some tropical areas, for example Central America, the WET SEASON is called 'winter' (Spanish invierno) but it is also a very fertile time. Other tropical areas will differ as to the timing of wet and dry seasons.
I recommend that any renku written in the tropics, or involving natives of the tropics, include seasonal topics appropriate to the 'monsoon' or wet season, and the hot or DRY SEASON once each in place of summer or winter in the mid-section of the renku-- and in the hokku, if the poem is written there.
Future attempts at international saijiki may contain a substantial number of wet- and dry-season phenomena, warranting the creation of these as new seasons in the saijiki.
Bill Higginson in HAIKU WORLD


The Japanese rainy season, tsuyu 梅雨 with all its related words are part of the summer kigo.

Monsoon Sunset and other Photos by Kim Richards


Here are some meteorological explanations:

The word 'monsoon' appears to have originated from the Arabic word 'mausim', which means season. It is used to describe seasonal reversals of wind direction, caused by temperature differences between the land and sea, which occur in a number of countries around the world.

The cause
In some respects it is a large version of the 'land-sea breeze', where on a sunny day at the beach, the land warms more quickly than the ocean. As the hot air rises over the land, it is replaced by the cooler air over the water.
At night, however, the land cools at a quicker rate than the water, so the wind shifts, blowing from the land to the warmer water.
So our two key ingredients for the Asian Monsoon are a large land mass and a large ocean - namely southern Asia (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and the surrounding Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

When does it start?
From April, the pre-monsoon heat builds over the land and with time will result in continuous rising of less dense air (as the land warms faster) and form areas of low pressure, most commonly over North India and the Himalayas.
Meanwhile, over the oceans the air is cooler and denser so it is linked to areas of high pressure. The temperature difference between the land and sea can be as much as 20°C - land temperatures in India can even exceed 45°C, while the surrounding water in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea remain in the low 20s.

To maintain the energy balance the air starts flowing from the oceans (high pressure) to the land (low pressure) bringing in the moisture rich southwest winds across southern Asia - the 'wet' phase.
When the 'wet' phase starts, around 25 May, it has two arms. One coming into Sri Lanka and the other one moving up from the Bay of Bengal into parts of NE India and Bangladesh.

The retreat
As the land and ocean begin to cool in late summer and into autumn, the land loses heat quicker than the ocean. The wind reverses during this 'dry' phase, becoming a northeasterly.
From the diagram we can see the movement of this monsoon across southern Asia and then its withdrawal, usually completed by late December.

Here is a map that shows the southwest monsoon, showing onset- and withdrawl dates.

Monsoon Rainbust by Kim Richards


Gujarat, India

"Oh, it's the naked rain,"
so say the Gujarati people on the first rainfall.
Typically the first rainfall around the state of Gujarat is accompanied by sunshine peeping on and off through the monsoon clouds sweeping through the western region of India in late June or early July.

The naked rain, as it is referred to in Gujarat, is a harbinger of the monsoon and is received like the much-awaited guest that is mildly taunted by the hosts with "What took you so long?"

While children sing folksongs of rains in kindergarten, college students study monsoon romance in classics such as Meghdoot (the messenger of monsoon), written by Kalidas, one of the most acclaimed Indian poets from fourth century A.D.
Every living being, relieved from the heat, now craves love.

Read more here:


Monsoon On Line

Following the Great Indian Drought of 1877, H.F. Blanford, who had established the India Meteorological Department in 1875, issued the first seasonal forecast of Indian monsoon rainfall in 1884. Later, in the early part of the 20th century, Sir Gilbert Walker initiated extensive studies of global teleconnections which led him to the discovery of Southern Oscillation. Walker introduced, for the first time, the concept of correlation for long-range forecasting of the Asian summer monsoon and his findings are relevant even today.

More than 100 years later, forecasts and hindcasts (backcasts) of the Asian summer monsoon are still being made using statistical regression, often with remarkable success.

© Monsoon On Line
by D.B. Stephenson & K. Rupa Kumar

Worldwide use


we have MONSOON (july-august) as an extra season within a set of six seasons.

It includes words like like floods, flooded streets, heavy showers, lightning, raincoat, thunder, umbrella, many of which are kigo in the Japanese saijiki too.


Northern America

Pineapple Express (also known as Pineapple Connection)
is a non-technical, shorthand term popular in the news media for a meteorological phenomenon which is characterized by a strong and persistent flow of atmospheric moisture and associated heavy rainfall from the waters adjacent to the Hawaiian Islands and extending to any location along the Pacific coast of North America.
A Pineapple Express is driven by a strong, southern branch of the Polar jetstream and is usually marked by the presence of a surface frontal boundary which is typically either slow or stationary, with waves of low pressure traveling along its axis. Each of these low pressure systems brings enhanced rainfall.

The Puget Sound region from Olympia, Washington to Vancouver, BC received several inches of rain per day in November 2006 from a series of successive Pineapple Express storms that caused massive flooding in all major regional rivers and mudslides which closed the mountain passes.

The unusually intense rain storms that hit south-central Alaska in August 2006 were termed "Pineapple Express" rains locally.

In British Columbia especially, Pineapple Express systems typically generate heavy snowfall in the mountains and Interior Plateau, which often melts rapidly because of the warming effect of the system.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !



Amihan and Habagat monsoon



NE-Monsoon, SW-Monsoon  

Things found on the way

It is possible to identify seasons, although these do not occur uniformly throughout South Asia. The Indian Meteorological Service divides the year into four seasons:

the relatively dry, cool winter from December through February;
the dry, hot summer from March through May;
the southwest monsoon from June through September when the predominating southwest maritime winds bring rains to most of the country;
the northeast monsoon, or retreating, monsoon of October and November.



I fall asleep when l meet you,
The hapless sleep of infants
Or animals or violent sleep
Of winter when life goes under
Redically: so quiet,hearing

Abstract poems of Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Monsoon History

- Shared by Mokhtar Sah Malik -
Haiku Culture Magazine, 2013


Monsoon clouds
Framed by rectangle
Gray above green



wrath of the monsoon
lightning displays with heavy wind
here fast, gone faster

Bernard Howe


monsoon rain-
the finger-painted poster

monsoon rain –
worn tights
caught on the old clothes-pole

monsoon rain –
the pigeons peck
on a discarded guava

Harsangeet Kaur Bhullar


Remembering Bombay 30 years ago,
three weeks in Monsoon showers, whoff, wondering how we survived that one !

monsoon shower –
the smell of Bombay
in our hair

The moist air, the endless smell of incense to kill the penetrant smell of mold.
The smell of curry bubbeling in the street stalls.

monsoon shower –
holding on to
black umbrellas

The babus in their white doti, pulling up the legs, balancing with one hand the huge black umbrellas - all in vain, the rain pours from all directions !

Bombay in the Rain !
a place to dance ?
such was youth !

Gabi Greve


paddy flooded---
herons pace proudly
on monsoon clouds

Izabel Sonia Ganz


after the monsoon
their nest on the cobbles
the death birdies

by the monsoon
her umbrella

Geert Verbeke


monsoon --
the sound of
my own sobs

© Ella Wagemakers

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 2005

silver clouds
with dark lining -
parched ground looks up

onset of monsoon in time (june 1st week) is critical for the farmers and the nation too

M.R. Vinodh, 2005

It is almost normal in India to have floods in one part of the country and drought conditions in another! Isn't it ironical that while normally when speaking of 'hope' we talk about 'dark clouds with silver lining' while pre-monsoon its the other way round? wishing that the rains here do stay a little longer...



In Kenya, the rains were late this year, and we are praying that they might last a bit longer than usual... every day, we have been looking upwards...

rain clouds --
where will they shed
their load?

rain clouds --
are they heading for
my mum's home?

So often, one part of Nairobi might be washed away with torrential rain, while other parts have none. Travelling in the front seat of a bus, one might see a clear dividing line -- thus far, the rain came, and no farther...

Isabelle Prondzynski


monsoon dawn
flowers and greens
just turn visible

June 2005, Narayanan Raghunathan
Read more of his monsoon haiku here:

Monsoon by Narayanan


Two Monsoon Haiku from the Mainichi Haiku Files
Oct. 1, 2005 (No.676)

monsoon fury
a child’s doll floats past
the second floor window

Angelee Deodhar; Chandigarh, India

.. .. ..

bombay rains…
wade through the water

Kala Ramesh; Pune, India



monsoon rain...
street dogs following
a female's heat

Kameshwara Rao, India


> the road under water
> I still don't know
> all the potholes

> cloudburst -
> the flies are already
> in the house

> cloudburst -
> two men in the doorway
> chat about war

Johannes Manjrekar, India, September 2006


monsoon rain ...
between two thunderclouds
our catamaran

Ella Wagemakers
July 2009


first rains...
the child loads innocence
in the paper boat

Kumarendra Mallick
Hyderabad, India, July 2009


Monsoon water rising
Cipher machines up on bricks
A canoe ride home

Memories of Malaysia, long ago

A cipher machine is similar to an electric typewriter but is designed to encode or rather encrypt secret messages. At this time I was in the Army, we were protecting Malaysian Borneo from the Confrontation declared by the President of Indonesia. Therefore there was a great need for secrecy in our communications.
As the flood waters rose all electric equipment had to be propped up on bricks to keep them out of the water. After going off duty that morning I borrowed a canoe and went to help local neighbours to carry their refrigerators upstairs too.

- Shared by Res John Burman -
Joys of Japan, 2012

Related words

***** . Rain in India .


Long Rains, a season (Kenya)

***** World Kigo Database : Rain in various kigo

Cloud, clouds(kumo) Various Kigo.

WIND in various kigo

Typhoon  台風  Japan





Gabi Greve said...

Monsoon Damage in Bombay July 2005

... 37 inches fell in one day ...

Read some reports here:


Monsoon in India 2005

Gabi Greve said...

monsoon drizzle ...
is it rain or sweat
on the labourer's back?

Its been a month since the monsoon receded from South India, but yet ... :o)

Kameshwar Rao, January 2006


Gabi Greve said...

rains mate with earth
erratic monsoon erotic
winds frolicsome

Aju Mukhopadhyay, India


Anonymous said...

the rain hides
my mother's voice
... monsoon

Ella Wagemakers

Anonymous said...

monsoon runnels on hill slopes—
city folk
rushing from office

Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih

Muse of India

Anonymous said...

one-hour rain
meager land breaks its silence..
grasses tell

Heike Gewi, Juni 2008

Anonymous said...


first showers --
earth's smell takes me

Sunil Uniyal, India, 2008

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .