November (juuichigatsu)

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November (juuichigatsu)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Early Winter
***** Category: Season


Haiku juuichigatsu in the Edo period relates to the climate of present-day December,
but some festivals are dated in our present-day November.

. . Names of Japanese months and their meanings . .


kannazuki 神無月 (かんなづき) "Gods are absent"
(now November)

The tenth lunar month (now November), after the harvest when the Japanese gods had done their duty, they left their local shrines for a bit of a vacation. They would all go for an audience and to celebrate at the great shrine of Izumo, so the rest of Japan was "without gods".
. Gods are absent (kami no rusu) .

kigo for mid-winter

chuutoo 仲冬 (ちゅうとう) middle of winter
..... fuyu monaka 仲冬 冬最中(ふゆもなか)
..... fuyu nakaba 冬半ば(ふゆなかば)

another name for November.
In reality, the middle of winter is now from end of december to mid-January, but customarily these kigo are pointing to November.

The name of the eleventh month according to the Asian lunar calendar:
(now also used for November in haiku)

"frost month", shimotsuki 霜月 (しもつき)
"frost coming down month", shimo furi zuki 霜降月(しもふりづき)
"waiting for snow month", yuki machi zuki 雪待月(ゆきまちづき)
"looking at snow month" yukimi zuki 雪見月(ゆきみづき

"month with Kagura Dance performances", kagura zuki 神楽月(かぐらづき)
"Gods coming back" month, shinki zuki 神帰月(しんきづき)
(they have been away in October to visit the shrine in Izumo, see LINK below.)

"month with a day of the mouse" ne no tsuki 子の月(ねのつき)
(meaning the month with the winter solstice)

. December, juunigatsu .

. . . . WINTER - the complete SAIJIKI

11.Shimotsuki - Frost Month
7 Dec – 4 Jan
The archaic name for November.
. Names of months and lunar seasons .

. Shimotsuki Matsuri 霜月祭り Shimotsuki Festivals .

Shinran ki 親鸞忌 (しんらんき)
Memorial Day for Saint Shinran

and seven days of memorial services for him

. o shimotsuki お霜月(おしもつき)"honorable frost month" .


Inahata Teiko

November――Feeling of Drizzling

Winter comes after the day of ritto which falls on about November the 8th (the first day of winter in the traditional calendar). This time of the year, which is called early winter, is a good season, because the winter air braces our mind and body and we have Indian summer days during these days. While we still enjoy the feeling of autumn, the nature surely begins to change to winter. There is a clear, quiet and lonely atmosphere in the air of the mountains, rivers, trees and plants, and the sounds of rain and wind. We feel the more when we have the first frost or the first of drizzling rain of winter season.

In the meantime, when red and yellow leaves begin to fall, falling leaves are constantly scattered on the ground and still more a withering blast begins to blow, people become busy preparing for the arrival of real winter. The characters of this season are shown in the seasonal words such as daikon arau (wash the radishes), daikon hosu (dry the radishes under the Sun), kiriboshi (dried strips of the radishes) and takuan tsuku (pickle the radishes). People have lived with poetic feelings in their lives. Furthermore such seasonal words as kitamado fusagu (close the north windows), mebari (tape the windows), kazayoke (guard the house from the wind), fuyugamae (getting ready for coldness) describe the lives in winter.

But we believe that among those seasonal words, shigure (a drizzling shower in early winter) is the most typical seasonal word, which exactly depict the sceneries and atmosphere in early winter. In October in the lunar calendar it often rains on and off, and therefore it is called the month of drizzling rain. Shigure, raining on and off, has been composed in a delicate way in poems from the time of Waka of Shinkokin as a symbol of changeable things, the transience of human life.

This sense of transience, the original idea of shigure , has been inherited to haikai. But in haikai , "the Danrin school (a school of haikai which became popular in the latter half of the 17th century. It opposed the traditional haikai of the Teitoku school and composed haiku with innovative and novel interests and wrote comical idea in light and easy spoken language) made intentionally fun the original purpose and ended in comicality. However, it can be said that their innovative composition was still placed under the restriction of tradition in spite of their attempt.

In the book of "Sarumino" written by Basho, shigure came to be freely composed in haiku apart from the restriction of original meaning of the season. In the book of "Sarumino" there are thirteen poems of haiku composed with a theme of sigure.

When in 1936, Takahama Toshio (the son of Kyoshi) began to read "Sarumino" in turn with Nara Shikaro, Awano Seiho and others, Takahama Kyoshi encouraged them by sending a telegram, which reads:

"Begin with thirteen poems of haiku with a subject of sigure". Maybe he meant that they should study the seasonal word, shigure which was composed freely in "Sarumino" apart from original intention of waka poems.

How is shigure composed in haiku in modern times?

© Inahata Teiko, Nature and our Life

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


November seven -
the haiku winter
starts today

Gabi Greve

The day of RITTO 立冬, when the Winter Starts, according to the Asian Lunar Calendar.


on the mirror --
the last mosquito this
November morning

Isabelle Prondzynski, 2007

November wind --
a sparrow rides on
a swaying branch

November is a lovely warm month in Kenya, the month when the short rains peter out, and the sunshine coaxes the young plants up and into strong growth. Not yet hot (that is January), but the most ideal warmth, and an atmosphere full of hope. The jacarandas and many of the other beautiful trees are in flower, and the wind is mostly gentle, with the odd gust now and again.

Read more

Isabelle Prondzynski, Kenya 2007


White-gold winking through
Black wiry branches half nude:
November streetlights.

Michael Collings, 2007


November Day

little puffy clouds
float like tropical fish
in clear blue waters

quickly changing to
baby dragons chasing
buzzards on the prowl

butterfly hovers
over flowerless branches
dreaming of summer

blowing leaves entice
playful puppies to give chase
across the yard

winter waits anon
while autumn paints the landscape
in shades of amber

Ruth Nott, USA, November 2007


first of November
freshly painted tombstones
where candles flicker

first of November
the sun shines mightily
on silent tombs

first of November
the grief of a widow
stored in her kerchief

first of November
tomb of the undertaker
sits at a corner

first of November
a stray black cat crosses
the beggar's path

first of November
the long and scorching trek
to the unmarked graves

November scene
piles of trash at the graveyard's
silent domain

November dusk
the city dresses up
for Christmas

November breeze
early birds buy knick-knacks
for giveaway

November night
the bright sparkles on lanterns
elicit some "ooohhhhs!"

Willie Bongcaron
Philippines, November 2009
Kigo Hotline


November moon
a smile on my face
as I drive home

Ella Wagemakers
Kigo Hotline, November 2009

Related words

*****  All Saints’ Day

***** All Souls' Day

. WKD : November - KIGO CALENDAR .




1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

November 27th...
my birthday sometimes falls
on Thanksgiving

November 27th...
Kusanohana Haiku Circle's


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