Mother and Father


Mother and Father - reflected in KIGO

The simple use of the words
are not kigo, but a topic for haiku.

. Mother (fukuro, o-fukuro お袋) .
with haiku by Issa

. The Original Face - Zen Koan .
before my parents were born


Women's Day, International Woman's Day

***** Location: Russia, worldwide
***** Season: Spring, March 8
***** Category: Observance


Present from a friend, March 2011

For Mother's Day, Father's Day, see below.

International Women's Day is religiously celebrated in Russia on the 8th of March. Men buy flowers for their female loved ones on that day. The first available flowers are yellow mimosa, brought from the Caucasus. Thus you can see man standing in line to buy mimosa branches or walking on the streets with mimosa bouquets. What Russians call "mimosa" is in fact Acacia dealbata or Silver Wattle. It blooms with aromatic yellow puffs of flowers.

Mimosa, Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata)

CLICK for more photos

Every year, from the end of February to the beginning of March some 200 tons of mimosa branches are brought from Abkhazia to Russia.

Here is an article about the origin and meaning of the International Woman’s Day.

International Women's Day (8 March)
is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. International Women's Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men. In ancient Greece, Lysistrata initiated a sexual strike against men in order to end war; during the French Revolution, Parisian women calling for "liberty, equality, fraternity" marched on Versailles to demand women's suffrage.

Read the full history of the development of this day here:

However, in Russia these days, it is more like a hybrid of Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. It's the day when females of all ages receive special attention from the males.

Thus there are two kigo words for March in Russia:
"Women's Day" or "International Women's Day," and "mimosa".


Even though the Internaitonal Women's Day was founded in 1910 by the socialists as a political day for women's right to vote, it's now celebrated widely in the world as a day of the beautiful half of the mankind :-). In Russia, it has always been one of the favorite holidays (especially after it had become a day off in 1965). It is now a holiday for which I have a right just because I am a woman :-).

And men, real men, understand this, and enjoy the fact that these beautiful creatures -- women -- live next to them, work with them side by side. It is as totally aimless, unpractical, and silly as to enjoy a nice spring morning, for instance, or beautiful music, or tasty meal, or just enjoy this life... it is as simple as to love the life itself.

Since the very early age, Russian boys are taught that girls are future women: mothers, wives, keepers... and they need to be loved, cared for, and supported by men. The March 8th day is the big part of such education. Traditionally, boys congratulate girls even in the first grade in school, and then, through the whole 11 school years :- ). Then, the "relay" are passed on to the young men, to all men... They storm the flower shops at this day, they wash and clean in the house, cook a holiday dinner, etc. -- and of course, give their women flowers and gifts!

I am still a woman here, and my family, men and women, enjoy this day with me now. Men give their women flowers -- and we all enjoy this wonderful spring celebration of life, love, and beauty. Today, I want to give this gift to all the wonderful women in the WHC -- we deserve
it just because we are women! :-)

women's day --
beautiful dreams and hopes
in full bloom

Olga Hooper (Origa)

Worldwide use

Jour des Femmes

Frauentag, Internationaler Frauentag

CLICK for more photos

Der erste internationale Frauentag fand am 19. März 1911 in Dänemark, Deutschland, Österreich, der Schweiz und den USA statt. Millionen von Frauen beteiligten sich. Die Wahl dieses Datums sollte den revolutionären Charakter des Frauentags unterstreichen, weil der 18. März der Gedenktag für die Gefallenen in Berlin während der Revolution 1848 war, und auch die Pariser Commune in den Monat März fiel.

Read a lot more here in German:



at the traffic signal
a beggar woman earns more
Women's day

Angelee Deodhar

mother’s day . . .
i untangle my daughter’s hair
with a broken comb

Sandip Sital Chauhan



she tries on
a new brown kanga-
Women's Day

Women's Day-
I present to her
a red rose

a mother battered
husband on television-
Women's Day

Andrew Otinga
March 2012



Mother's Day in Poland on 26th May.

Irena Iris Szewczyk
May 26, 2013, fb

Things found on the way


Women's Day -
men walking with bouquets
of yellow mimosa

Zhanna P. Rader


a mimosa blossoms
through a fine day
female joy

- Shared by Gennady Nov
Joys of Japan, March 2012

Related words

***** Mother's Day (second sunday in May), Muttertag :
kigo for early summer
haha no hi 母の日 (ははのひ)

Romania : March 8
Yemen : March 21
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Mothers' day exists in most westernised countries, dates vary, and those indicated apply to the US.

Mothers' day in Ireland (and the UK) is called Mothering Sunday and is a church-based festival which falls before Easter.
Saijiki for Europa: Mothering Sunday, Laetare

In Germany, Muttertag has a somewhat tainted legacy, since Hitler used to make use of the occasion to give awards to mothers of large families -- I knew at least one such who refused to accept the award, as she felt she had not produced her children to be Hitler's followers or to end up as cannon fodder in his war...

Isabelle Prondzynski


The Story of Mother's Day

The earliest Mother's Day celebrations can be traced back to the spring celebrations of ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. During the 1600's, England celebrated a day called "Mothering Sunday". Celebrated on the 4th Sunday of Lent (the 40 day period leading up to Easter*), "Mothering Sunday" honored the mothers of England.

During this time many of the England's poor worked as servants for the wealthy. As most jobs were located far from their homes, the servants would live at the houses of their employers. On Mothering Sunday the servants would have the day off and were encouraged to return home and spend the day with their mothers. A special cake, called the mothering cake, was often brought along to provide a festive touch.

As Christianity spread throughout Europe the celebration changed to honor the "Mother Church" - the spiritual power that gave them life and protected them from harm. Over time the church festival blended with the Mothering Sunday celebration . People began honoring their mothers as well as the church.

In the United States Mother's Day was first suggested in 1872 by Julia Ward Howe (who wrote the words to the Battle hymn of the Republic) as a day dedicated to peace. Ms. Howe would hold organized Mother's Day meetings in Boston, Mass ever year.

In 1907 Ana Jarvis, from Philadelphia, began a campaign to establish a national Mother's Day. Ms. Jarvis persuaded her mother's church in Grafton, West Virginia to celebrate Mother's Day on the second anniversary of her mother's death, the 2nd Sunday of May. By the next year Mother's Day was also celebrated in Philadelphia.

Ms. Jarvis and her supporters began to write to ministers, businessman, and politicians in their quest to establish a national Mother's Day. It was successful as by 1911 Mother's Day was celebrated in almost every state. President Woodrow Wilson, in 1914, made the official announcement proclaiming Mother's Day as a national holiday that was to be held each year on the 2nd Sunday of May.

While many countries of the world celebrate their own Mother's Day at different times throughout the year, there are some countries such as Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, and Belgium which also celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May.

.. .. ..

M - O - T - H - E - R
"M" is for the million things she gave me,
"O" means only that she's growing old,
"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,
"H" is for her heart of purest gold;
"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
"R" means right, and right she'll always be,

Put them all together, they spell
A word that means the world to me.

Howard Johnson (c. 1915)


Mother's Day: Honoring Our Many Mothers
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


More, much more about this day:

Mother's Day
her dandelion bouquet
and yellow nose

Michael Baribeau


Haiga by Natalia L. Rudychev, 2006


mothers day ---
slow traffic
at the cemetery

Fred Masarani, 2006


kigo for autumn


Mother's Day
a stream of fond memories
in her bosom

Mother's Day
chocolate cake and ice cream
for my adviser

Mother's Day
this time, dropping by
to stay for dinner

Mother's Day
I glance on her pictures
last summer

Mother's Day
missing her pot roast
and coleslaw

Mother's Day
from a long distance call
her assuring words

Willie Bongcaron, Philippines, May 2010


rain-laden clouds
envelope the sky -
Mother's tear

kenneth daniels (Guyana)


chichi haha 父母 father and mother

chichi haha no koto nomi omou aki no kure

- quote
Thinking only
About my mom and dad;
The autumn evening.

At first this seems a rather bland hokku, but a great deal depends upon the reader knowing how hokku work.

We know that a hokku is an expression of a season, in this case the season of autumn. Autumn is the time of aging and withering and eventually dying. That is the key to understanding this verse.

When Buson says that he is thinking only of his parents, he means it in the sense that they keep coming into his thoughts for some reason — that even when he tries to think of other things, the faces of his parents keep returning.

Why is that? It is because in the autumn, one realizes both what one is losing and what one has lost. Autumn is the time of growing yin, the time of things — of life — returning to the root. It is the time of withering plants and falling leaves and the diminishing of warmth and light and the increasing of cold. All of these things combine to bring Buson’s mother and father constantly to mind.
- Tr.and Comment - David Coomler

Buson lost his mother when he was 12 and his father when he was 17. He left for a journey without aim, with his parents always in his mind.

At age 61 he wrote the following:


mukashi mukashi shikiri ni omou jibo no on
jibo no kaihoo betsu no haru ari

With a pang, I remember my mother's kindness, long long ago.
In her arms there was a special kind of spring.

Tr. Crowley


***** Father's Day
Vatertag, Christi Himmelfahrt in Germany
second Sunday in June

chichi no hi 父の日 (ちちのひ) Father's Day in Japan
kigo for mid-summer

third sunday in June

celebrated on the first sunday in September
kigo for spring

still no blossoms
on my family tree ---
Father's Day

- Shared by Bee Jay -
Joys of Japan, September 2012


Father's Day: three Hawaiian shirts hang in the closet

One-liner by Chibi Dennis Holmes


father's day celebration
the light on my path leading

kenneth daniels (GY)

Father's day is celebrated in the wet season of Guyana.
WKD : South American Saijiki


Father's Day
only my mother
knows his name

Ella Wagemakers

- WKD facebook 2012 -


A haiku sequence by Chen-ou Liu
published in Sketchbook, 6:4, July/August 2011

Like Father, Like Son?

Father’s words linger
can you put food on the table?
reading Poems to Eat

at the departure gate
Father doesn’t wave back
summer heat

first homecoming
Father sighs
your hair turns gray

reunion dinner
my niece giggles
at my Mandarin

my poem to Father
it's raining, he murmurs

Chen-ou Liu

. Ishikawa Takuboku - Poems to Eat .


first Father's Day
still all thumbs with
changing diapers

Father's Day-
the letter I forgot to send
two years ago

Angelee Deodhar, 2013


hahaoya ya suzumi ga tera no matsuri obi

my dear mother -
coolness and the sash
for the temple festival

Kobayashi Issa

. WKD : Shimada Obi Matsuri 島田帯祭 .
Belt Festival at Shimada


Matsuo Basho
Nozarashi kiko (Journal of Bleached Bones in a Field):

I returned home at the beginning of Ninth Month. The Forgetting Grass by my mother's room had withered with frost, and no trace of it remained. Everything from the past had changed. The temples of my brothers and sisters were white, wrinkles around their eyes.
"We're still alive!"--- it was all we could say. My older brother opened a relic case and said, "Pay your respects to Mothers' white hair. Like Urashima with his jewelled box, your eyebrows have aged." Then, for a time, we all wept.

te ni toraba kien namida zo atsuki aki no shimo

should I take it in my hand
it would melt in these hot tears:
autumn frost

Tr. Barnhill

This is the third time Basho had returned home to Iga Ueno.
Basho feels like Urashima Taro, who spent 300 years in the palace of the Dragon God at the bottom of the sea.
. Urashima Taro 浦島太郎.

This hokku has the meter 5 10 5.

When held in hand
Melt away it will, this autumn frost -
My tears so hot.

Tr. Nelson and Saito

Should I take it in my hand,
It would melt in my hot tears,
Like the frost of autumn.

Tr. Oseko

Should I hold them in my hand,
They will disappear
In the warmth of my tears,
Icy strings of frost.

Tr. Yuasa

- hokku about tears
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


たらちね の花見の留守や時計見る
tarachine no hanami no rusu ya tokei miru

Home alone,
my mother off cherry-viewing ---
I watch the clock

Masaoka Shiki
Tr. Watson


kaya goshi ni kusuri niru haha o kanashimi tsu

Feeling sorry about mum
Who is simmering medecine
Outside the mosquito net

no o yaite kaereba tooka haha yasashi

Returning after burning off a field
The light is on:
Mum is sweet at home

Takahama Kyoshi
Tr. Katsuya Hiromoto


haha no hi no haha o nakashite shimaikeri

Mother's Day ---
I end up making
my mother cry

Mayuzumi Madoka
Tr. Ueda


observance kigo for early autumn

ikimitama, iki mitama 生身魂 (いきみたま) living soul
..... 生御魂 , 生見玉
ikibon 生き盆(いきぼん) Bon for the living

O-Bon in August is usually a festival for the ancestors.
But in some regions people also celebrate their elderly parents, if both are still alive, with special food and presents. A favorite present is

sashisaba, sashi saba 刺鯖 / 差鯖 a pair of saba mackerel fish
The fish is cut open at the back and then salted. Two pieces are then placed beside each other (to form one sashi 一刺) and let dry.
In the Edo period they were wrapped in lotus leaves and vendors in town sold them on the 15th day of the seventh lunar month and for O-Bon.

. hasu no meshi 蓮の飯 rice with lotus .
rice wrapped in lotus leaves for a long life

. Bon Festival, O-Bon, Obon お盆 .

iki mitama nanajuu to mooshi tassha nari

Iki-Mitama (my honorable parents)
at the age of seventy
you are still so healthy !

Masaoka Shiki 正岡子規

During the Meiji period, 50 was considered old age. So 70 would feel like about 90 in our times.


iki-mitama -
let's celebrate our parents
with poetry

Gabi Greve, September 2012


oya kookoo, oyakookoo 親孝行 filial piety,
to care well for one's parents

furiijia takusan saite oya kookoo

so many
freesias have bloomed -
filial piety

Katoo Michiru 加藤ミチル Kato Michiru

source : www.japanknowledge.com

oya kookoo 親孝行 selling "filial piety"

A beggar would prepare a doll to carry in front of him, making it look like a young person was carrying his old parent. He walked around town calling
"oya kookoo de gozai" "親孝行でござい" "I show you filial piety" and collect a few coins for his good deed.

. chin shoobai 珍商売 strange business in Edo .


***** . World Mother-in-Law's Day .

Kigo for Summer



Anonymous said...

women's day
so many mother's
die a violent death


Gabi Greve said...

. Women in Japan, 2006 .

By TOMOKO OTAKE, The Japan Times March, 2006


Anonymous said...

Dear Gabi,

The "Frauentag" poster at your WKD entry for "womens-day-interatioal"
reminds me of the "Rosie the Riveter" poster created during WWII in the United States. To see the poster and read about "Rosie the Riveter:"


My wife and I have a refrigerator magnet of the poster in our kitchen.

Unfortunately, International Women's Day is not given much publicity in the United States. Given how difficult it was to establish Martin Luther King Day as a holiday in the United States, I don't think IWD will be a holiday here anytime soon.

And it would compete here with Mother's Day, one of the most commercially successful holidays in the United States.

Larry Bole

Anonymous said...

Mother's pink roses
in the heirloom vase -
drooping just a bit


anonymous said...

his name
should have been mine
the man
who loved my mother
long before I did

Ella Wagemakers

anonymous said...

Father's Day in Kenya 2010
by Patrick Wafula

Yesterday, my three daughters put me to task by asking me how I would spend my Father's Day. I told them I was going to spend it by taking them out to show I am a good father.
So I took them out to Uhuru Park to row the fantastic boats in the pool there. There was a lot of fun:

Read more here
Kenya Saijiki Forum

Anonymous said...

yo naku mushi nanji haha ari chichi ari ya

insects chirp in the night--
what of your mothers?
your fathers?

Kobayashi Issa
(Tr. David Lanoue)

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

rain shower--
for granny's evergreen too
autumn dusk


murasame ya o-baba ga maki mo aki no kure

Granny's maki is an ornamental tree.

Tr. David Lanoue

Gabi Greve - facebook said...

from Ireland

Mother's day
repaying some
of the debt

John Byrne


Iris said...

Dear Gabi
I would like to add that in Poland Mother's Day is celebrated on May 26th and Father's Day on June 23rd.
Thanks and best regards
Irena Szewczyk

Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

my parents' house
no longer in sight...
summer mountain


oya no ie mienaku narinu natsu no yama

The same year (1804) Issa writes:

furusato no mienaku narite naku hibari

my home village
no longer in sight...
singing lark

David Lanoue

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

oya no oya no sono oya no o koromogae

his father's
father's father wore it too ...
summer robe

On the first day of summer, when others are changing into fresh, new robes; Issa (or some other poor person) wears a hand-me-down.

David Lanoue

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