Showing posts with label Saijiki. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saijiki. Show all posts


Chinese Background of Kigo

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The Chinese background and roots of Japanese kigo

kango  漢語 words of Chinese origin

Much of Japanese culture has its roots in China.
Buddhism was first introduced around 522 via Korea and closely related to the power of the Japanese state. The Prince Shotoku Taishi 聖徳太子, born in 574, was a great promoter of State Buddhism and began to send embassies to China to study Chinese civilization in depth.
. Embassies to T'ang China 遣唐使 kentooshi .

Taking a closer look at Japanese kigo,
we realize that many have their roots in ancient Chinese poetry and painting.

Chinese poetry was widely studied by the poets of the Heian period.
And the Heian poetry had its strong influence on the poetry of the Edo period.

Not only kigo, but many themes of haiku by the old masters referre back to Chinese poetry.
Matsuo Basho was a keen student of Chinese poetry and Taoism in his youth.

Bashō and the Dao:
The Zhuangzi and the Transformation of Haikai

Peipei Qiu
- Full Text - Basho-and-the-Dao-Peipei-Qiu
- Reference -

Rhetoric and the Discourses of Power in Court Culture:
China, Europe, and Japan

David R. Knechtges
- Reference -

Sooshi 荘子 Chuang-tzu
Zhuangzi (simplified Chinese: 庄子; traditional Chinese: 莊子; pinyin: Zhuāng Zǐ; Wade–Giles: Chuang Tzŭ)
was an influential Chinese philosopher who lived around the 4th century BCE during the Warring States Period, a period corresponding to the philosophical summit of Chinese thought — the Hundred Schools of Thought, and is credited with writing—in part or in whole—a work known by his name, the Zhuangzi.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Shoomon 蕉門 Shomon - Basho's Students .


tenshi o egaku 天師を画く
painting the heavenly master

. WKD - Tao, Dao and Kigo .
Dookyoo 道教 Taoism, Daoism

"Poetry Pillow words" utamakura 歌枕"
makura kotoba" 枕詞, 枕言葉
. Place names and Sooshi 荘子 .

. 風羅坊 Furabo "wind-gauze-priest" .
pen-name of Matsuo Basho

. Basho, Fukagawa and Chang-An .

造化にしたがひ 造化に帰れ
. "Follow the zooka, return to the zooka." .
. . . . . not to mix with
zoka, joka 序歌 a waka poem which is read first

. "What can I do with an old tree?" .

According to the Erh Ya (Erya),
one of the earliest Chinese dictionaries, 
green is the color of spring,
red is the color of summer,
white is the color of autumn, and
black is the color of winter.
. Color symbols and haiku .


Chinese Poets and Basho

(for details check the Wikipedia)

Bai Juyi, Bo Juyi, Po Chü-i 白居易 (Haku Kyoi はく きょい)
(772–846) Po Chu-i

. Du Fu, Tu-Fu 杜甫 (To Ho と ほ).
(712 - 770)

. Hanshan and Shide 寒山拾得 Kanzan and Jittoku .

Huang Tingjiang 黄庭堅
(Koo Teiken こう ていけん)

. Li Bo, Li Po, Li Bai 李白 (Ri Haku (り はく) .
(701 - 762)

. Mozi (Mo-Tzu), Mo Di 墨子 (Bokushi) .
(460- 380 BC ?)

Su Shi 蘇軾 (So Shoku そ しょく)
Su Dongpo, Su Dungpo 蘇東坡 (So Toba そ とうば)
Dongpo Jushi (東坡居士)
. . . a Chinese writer, poet, painter, calligrapher, pharmacologist, gastronome, and a statesman of the Song Dynasty (960–1279).
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Chinese learning 漢学 kangaku
study of the Chinese classics .


. Confucius 孔子 Kooshi, Koshi .
Koofuushi 孔夫子, Kung Tzu, Kung Fu Tzu, Kung Fu Zi, Kǒng fū zǐ.
also called
Sekiten 釈奠 or Sekisai 釈菜

Confucius and kigo


ーーーーー Chinese Poetry Anthologies available at the time of Basho

Gu wen zhen bao 古文真宝 True treasures of ancient literature

Kinshû dan 錦 繍段 Collection of Brocade Pieces

Lian zhu shi ge 聯珠詩格 Strings of pearls:
A classified selection from Tang and Song poets.

San ti shi 三体詩 Poems of three forms

Shiren yu xie 詩人玉屑 Gemlike words of poets

Yuan ji huo fa shixue quanshu 圓機活法詩學全書
Practical knacks and workable methods: An encyclopedia of poetics

Shiren yu xie:
Under the title “Dwelling in Retirement,” for instance, the book cites Tao Qian as an example under “Historical Facts” and provides 168 couplets by poets from different periods; some of them directly mention the names of Ruan Ji, Ji Kang, and Tao Qian.

The entry also gives twenty-six “Related Images and Motives,” such as “composing a poem,” “study surrounded by bamboos,” “bamboo groves,” “thatched hut,” “sitting in tranquility,” “lonely and tranquil,” “remote place,” “playing the zither,” “purity and loftiness,” and “drinking wine.”

source : Basho-and-the-Dao - Peipei-Qiu

The Influence of Chinese Literature on Basho
source : Bill Wyatt - - -


Many Japanese festivals have their roots in Chinese festivals too.

Festivals on days with a double prime number

First day of the first lunar month
. New Year 正月 shoogatsu .

Third day of the third lunar month
. Hina Doll Festival 雛祭り hina matsuri .

Fifth day of the fifth lunar month
. Boys' Festival 端午節句 tango no sekku .

Seventh day of the seventh lunar month
. Star Festival 七夕 Tanabata .

Ninth day of the ninth lunar month
. Chrysanthemum Festival 重陽 chooyoo .
chooyoo 重陽 (ちょうよう) "double prime number nine"
..... chookyuu 重九(ちょうきゅう)"double nine"
Double Nine Day

According to Chinese customs,
the first six days of January were dedicated to animals and the last day of the week to man.
January 7 : 7日を人の日 day of man (jinjitsu 人日)
. five seasonal festivals 五節句 gosekku .


Buddhist festivals can be traced back to various roots in Asia.

. Saijiki for Buddhist Festivals .

The various kigo will not be listed here.


. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 and Chinese roots .

I will try and collect kigo with a Chinese influence here.
under construction


source :

shunsetsu no aka azayaka ni chuukagai

the bright red
of the spring festival -

Nagareboshi 流星

shunsetsu refers to the Chinese New Year celebrations.
春節 = 中国正月

. Shunsetsu-sai 春節祭 Spring Festival .
Celebrated in Chinatown, Kobe.


Kigo related to the Asian lunar calendar

72 seasons, seasonal points
shichijuuni koo, shichinuniko 七十二候(しちじゅうにこう)
Shichijūni kō

. Asian calendar-related kigo .



The mist around the mountains is not the same at the four seasons.

The mountains in spring are light and seductive as if smiling:
the mountains in summer have a blue-green colour
which seems to be spread over them;
the mountains in autumn are bright and tidy as if freshly painted;
the mountains in winter are sad and tranquil as if sleeping.

. WKD : Mountains alive in all seasons .


kigo (and some keywords) with Chinese roots

. Banana leaf 芭蕉葉 bashooba .
Zhang Hengqu (1020-1077) and Huaisu (725-785)

. Beard 髭 hige .
Du Fu 杜甫

. biwa 琵琶 Biwa lute . and Biwakoo琵琶行 Biwako

. Butterfly 蝶々 choochoo .
and the Chinese sage Chunag-Tsu (Chunag Tzu, Zhuangzi).
Sooshi 荘子 Soshi

. Carp 鯉 koi .
carp streamers 鯉幟 koi nobori

. Cherry Blossoms 桜 sakura .

. Cotton Bow 綿弓 watayumi, wata yumi .

. Crane 鶴 tsuru .

. Dragon, climbing to heaven 龍天に登る ryuu ten ni noboru .
and more Dragon Haiku

. Draining the riece paddies 水落す mizu otosu .

. Firework display 花火 hanabi .

Frog and Cicada 蛙鸣蝉噪 wa ming chan zao

. Frost, frost on the grass 草の霜 kusa no shimo .

. Fujisan, Fuji san  富士山 Mount Fuji .

. Gourd 瓢箪 hyootan .

. Kite 鳶 tombi .
and Liezi "riding the wind"

. Medicine and ritual ricewine 屠蘇 toso .
yakuzen, yaku-zen 薬膳 "Eating Medicine"

. Millipede 蜈蚣 . 百足虫 mukade .

. Mole 偃鼠 enso, mogura .

. Moon 月 tsuki .

. Mulberry 椹 kuwa no mi .

. Paulownia, one leaf 桐一葉 kiri hitoha .

. Peony 牡丹 botan .
princess Yoki-Hi 楊貴妃 Yang Guifei

. pigweed 藜 / アカザ akaza .
and the cane for long life, akaza no tsue 藜の杖

. Plum blossom 梅 ume .

. Rosei 廬生 Lu Sheng (713 - 741) and his dream .

. Rose of Sharon 木槿 mukuge .

. Swing 鞦韆 秋韆 buranko .
yusahari ゆさはり、hanzengi 半仙戯

. Tofu, bean curd 豆腐 toofu, dofu .

. Warriours of old 強者 tsuwamono .
and the ruins of Hiraizumi

. Waterfall 滝 taki .
Basho remembering 酒仙人李白

. Willow tree 柳 yanagi .

. Wind - kaze no oto 風の音 the sound of wind .


Topics for Haiku

. Temple Manpukuji 万福寺、Uji, Kyoto .
fucha ryori 普茶料理 the Chinese-style Buddhist vegetarian cuisine

The Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove
The Seven Worthies of the Bamboo Grove
. Takeyabu 竹薮 bamboo grove .

. Sakazuki 盃 small cup for ricewine .
koyoi no tsuki 今宵の月 the moon tonight


Confucian principles, the five virtues , Five Constants
wuchang 五常の徳 Die fünf Tugenden

ren 仁 jin - Humaneness, Menschlichkeit
yi 義 gi - Righteousness, Gerechtigkeit
li 礼 /禮 rei - Propriety or Etiquette, Ethisches Verhalten
zhi 智 chi - wisdom, Weisheit
xin 信 shin - faithfulness, Integrity, Güte
- - - - - and the four virtues:
Zhong 忠, Loyalty
Xiao 孝, Filial piety
Jie 節, Continency
Yi 義, Righteousness.

. How Western translations
distort China's reality .

Related words

. Japanese Kigo 季語 .

. Seasons and Categories . Haiku

. History of Japanese Saijiki 歳時記 .

. Matsuo Basho - Archives of the WKD .



History of Saijiki

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History of Japanese Saijiki

The origines come from the Chinese chronicles of regional yearly events, called Fuudoki 風土記 in Japanese. These local records of regional specialities started to be writtin in Japan in 713, with the "Almanac from Izumo, Izumo Fudoki 出雲風土記" being one of the oldest.

Saijiki 歳時記 means
saiji no kiroku 歳時の記録 "almanac about things going on in one year",
almanach about the four seasons.
The KI 記 in saijiki is not the same as the KI 季 in kigo, season word.

(The sound of KI does have quite a lot of different meanings in Japanese, all expressed with different Chinese characters. 木 a tree.  気 life energy.  忌 memorial day and so on. )

hon-i 本意 - "the real meaning" (honto no imi 本当の意味)
poetic essence, “essential implications”
“genuine purports” (Kawamoto)

The cultural context establishes this "true meaning" of a kigo within Japanese poetry. The WKD tries to add as much of this cultural context as possible.
(Please bear in mind that I am only one person with limited time . . .).

When adding new season words of other parts of the world, I try to explain its cultural context as best as I can with my haiku friends from the region.
A great thank you again to all who contributed.

Chinese Saijiki 中国歳時記

Keiso Saijiki 荊楚歳時記
written in China in the 6th or 7th century.
Since China was a rather large place even at that time, the author wrote about the customs, festivals, food and other specialities of his area, Keiso. It is a valuable chronicle of anthropology rather than poetry.

In the Nara period, this was introduced to Japan and a
Japanese Saijiki 日本歳時記 was then compiled under the supervision of Kaibara Ekiken 貝原益軒 and his nephew Kooko 好古.

Kaibara Ekken (Ekiken) (1630 - 1714)
Chinese Poetry for Beginners
Shinju heikō aimotorazaru ron - Treatise on the Non-Divergence of Shinto and Confucianism
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

The influence of botanical studies for medicinal purposes increased the interest in nature.

honzoogaku 本草学 medicinal botany

. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Other early almanacs are

花火草 Hanabigusa
by Nonoguchi Ryuuho 野々口立圃 Nonoguchi Ryuho[1595~1669]
(He is often called "the father of haiga")

斎藤徳元『俳諧初学抄』 Haikai Shogakushoo
"Instructions for haikai beginners"
by Saitoo Tokugen , [1559~1647] comp. 1641
including 770 season words

話草 Hanashigusa comp. 1636
about 590 seasonal words
毛吹草 Kefukigusa, "Blownfur grass" comp. 1645
about 950 seasonal words for haikai and
550 seasonal words for renga
by Matsue Shigeyori 松江重頼 [1602 - 1680]

- maybe the same with a different Chinese character

嚔草(はなひぐさ, はなひ草)Hanahigusa "Sneeze Grass" (comp. 1636)
Matsue Shigenori (1602 - 1680). almost 600 kigo.
(hanahirigusa 嚔草 / ハナヒリグサ Centipeda minima, 吐金草 tokinsoo)


北村季吟『山之井』 Yama no I
by Kitamura Kigin [1624 -1705]comp. 1647-8
It contained 1300 kigo.
............... later republished as
Zoo yama no i "Expanded Mountain Well "Yama no I" 1667
- Text samples from Waseda University :
source :

Kigin was the teacher of Matsuo Basho.
. Kitamura Kigin Memorial Day
Kigin Ki 季吟忌 (きぎんき)

and Zoku Yama no I 続山の井, 7 volumes
edited by Kitamura Kojun 北村湖春, published in 寛文7年刊. It included hokku from 36 poets from Iga Ueno and 28 poems by Matsuo Basho 宗房(のちの芭蕉).

Kojun was the son of Kigin.
(1650 - 1697)
His haikai name was Kijun 季順 "the order of season words", as they are used in renku writing.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Binsenshuu comp. 1669
including 2000 seasonal words.

Ruisenshuu 類船集 comp. 1677
including 7 volumes, 俳諧辞書 Haikai Dictionary
From the Teimon school of Haikai
source :
Takase Baisei 高瀬梅盛 ?(1619 - 1702) ?(1611-1699)

With the dramatic growth of haikai in the seventeenth century, the number of new seasonal words grew rapidly.
- snip - ... while the number of seasonal words grew at an astounding pace, the number of seasonal topics remained relatively limited.
source : Haruo Shirane
Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons:
Nature, Literature, and the Arts

seasonal words - read kigo
seasonal topics - read kidai

tatedai 縦題 - 竪題 "vertical dai"
classical season words like plum, cherry, hototogisu, autumn leaves, used in waka and renku poetry.

yokodai 横題 "horizontal dai"
mostly new dai concerning the human beings, like manzai, yabu-iri, kotatsu . . .
A term used for haikai poetry.


quote - Richard Gilbert
After haiku became a fully independent genre,
the term "kigo" was coined by Otsuzi Ōsuga (1881-1920) in 1908.
"Kigo" is thus a new term for the new genre approach of "haiku."
So, when we are looking historically at hokku or haikai stemming from the renga tradition, it seems best to use the term "kidai."
. WKD : Kigo and Kidai .


These books have most probably been used as guides for writing linked verse, renga, at their time.

In 1803 the first Haikai Saijiki Shiorigusa (Kanzoo) 俳諧歳時記栞草 was compiled by Takizawa Bakin, with about 2600 seasonal themes and topics (kidai) and 3300 kigo.
滝沢馬琴 (1767-1848) Takizawa Bakin :
other names : 曲亭 馬琴 Kyokutei Bakin, 澤興邦 Takizawa Okikuni

In 1933, the first four seasonal volumes of the modern Haikai Saijiki were published.

Katoo Ikuya 加藤郁乎
Edo haikai saijiki (1983) 江戸俳諧歳時記


For a modern haiku poet, a small saijiki to carry around during the haiku walk, ginkoo, is an essential.
And the Nihon DAI saijiki 大歳時記, the big saijiki, is a constant companion on the study desk.
カラー図説 日本大歳時記

It contains many local kigo from all the regions of Japan.

online 日本大歳時記

季語と歳時記 (Kigosai)
長谷川櫂, Kigo to Saijiki no Kai. Online Saijiki
and a Korean Saijiki 韓国歳時記
Hasegawa Kai

Enjoy Old Kigo ! 古季語と遊ぶ
by Uda Kiyoko 宇多喜代子

- not a saijiki but
ひとたばの手紙から―戦火を見つめた俳人たち hitotaba no tegami kara
宇多 喜代子 Uda Kiyoko

ザ・俳句十万人歳時記 春
Saijiki written by 10.0000 people - SPRING

宇多喜代子 (監修) Uda Kiyoko
松田ひろむ (編集) Matsuda Hiromu
有馬朗人, 廣瀬直人, 金子兜太
with Arima Akito, Hirose Naoto and Kaneko Tohta

Versions for the other seasons are available.

The New Year

These books include 18.0000 haiku over 400 years.


We have local saijiki of various regions of Japan

Furusato Dai Saijiki ふるさと大歳時記
角川版. Regional Saijiki
8 volumes in A4-size, richly illustrated, from Hokkaido to Okinawa
Editors : Yamaguchi Seison, Takaha Shugyo et al.
Published in Heisei 4 (1992)


. "Local kigo" (chibo kigo, chiboo kigo 地貌季語)
Katarikakeru kigo
yuruyaka na nihon

by Miyasaka Shizuo 宮坂静生
Published in 2006

Satoyama Saijiki
by Uda Kiyoko
里山歳時記 . 宇多喜代子

(Published in 2004)

The Traditional Rural Landscape of Japan

. Edo Saijiki 江戸歳時記 - The Four Seasons in Edo .


Haiku Publications in the Edo Period


Edited by the Monk Chomu.

Edited by Buson, with contributions by Chiyo-Ni and Denjo


quote from Simply Haiku

Kaneko Tôta:
"Takahama Kyoshi said kigo must be a rule,
Bashô wrote seasonless poems.
Before Kyoshi kigo was only a promise not a rule."

That kigo before Kyoshi was not a rule but a “promise“ is a statement of Tôta Kaneko similarly, in various places and texts. If you look at the history of haikai literature, it will become clear. There were no authorized “rulebooks” in Bashô's time and only a few compilations of keywords; in fact, there was only a single case of a limited season-keyword compilation, from the unique haikai poet Kitamura Kigin (b. 1625-1705) of the Teimon school.

Bashô himself recommended a different haikai “rulebook” to his disciples, the Haikai mugonshô [Haikai book without words] published in 1676, which presented the techniques and philosophy of haikai, rather than being a dictionary of keywords.

And Bashô included haiku without kigo in his haiku philosophy. Even the founder of modern haiku, Masaoka Shiki (b. 1867-1902) accepted haiku without kigo and wrote such haiku himself. Shiki’s treatment of non-kigo haiku follows the example of Bashô, and other haiku poets of the Edo period. In the last years of Shiki’s life Kyoshi, one of his main disciples, became de facto chief editor of Hototogisu.
© Itô Yûki / Simply Haiku Summer 2008

Haikai Glossary
俳諧無言抄 Haikai Mugon Sho

promise, yakusokugoto 約束事

WKD : Kitamura Kigin  北村季吟

haikai sho 俳諧書 "Haikai Books"
- 俳諧七部集大鏡
- Haikai Na no Shiori, Haikai Na Shiori 誹諧名知折 Guide to Haikai Names
Haikai Guide to Names, 1780
by Kitao Shigemasa, 1739–1820


List of Season Words
Kiyose 季寄せ

Haiku Appreciation Almanach
Haiku Kansho Saijiki 鑑賞歳時記

kanshoo kanshou / kanshô
CLICK for more photos

Edo no Saijiki 江戸の歳時記
source :

. 信州歳時記 online
Shinano Mainichi Shinbun 
A collection of local festivals, ceremonies and specialities.

Boosai Saijiki of Disasters and Catastrophies

Here are some more Saijiki from AMAZON.COM, they have a
list of more than 1500 saijiki books:

男の俳句、女の俳句 For Men and Women
色好み江戸の歳時記 Love and Colors of Edo
酒場歳時記 Places to Drink

フランス歳時記―生活風景12か月 French Saijiki
旅の歳時記 (春)
Travelling in the Seasons

料理歳時記 Food
食のことわざ歳時記―伝承の食生活の知恵120 Food and Proverbs
Fresh Vegetables of the Season

うたの歳時記 (1)
Songs (many volumes)きもの歳時記 (242) Kimono

Birds and insects
唐詩歳時記 Chinese Poetry

里山歳時記 田んぼのまわりで Local Mountains and Fields, Village Saijiki
北国俳句歳時記 Hokkaido
山の歳時記 (1) Mountains
鉄道歳時記 (1) Railway
お天気歳時記― Weather
ことばの歳時記 Words

勘九郎ひとりがたり―中村屋歳時記 Kabuki and Kankuro Nakamura
歌舞伎歳時記 Kabuki
..... WKD : Kabuki Saijiki
オペラ歳時記 Opera
江戸風俗 東都歳時記を読む Customs of Old Edo
江戸たべもの歳時記 Food of Old Edo
京都歳時記 Kyoto

おむすびの祈り―「いのち」と「癒し」の歳時記 Prayers and Healing
宗教歳時記 Religion and Saijiki
昭和歳時記 The Showa Period Saijiki
元禄歳時記 The Genroku Period Saijiki

There are many many many more here:
Input 歳時記。


Tooto Saijiki 東都歳事記 Saijiki of the Eastern Capital
5 volumes 5冊  - 1838
All about the customs of Edo - Toto Saijiki

Read the full text here:
source :


kigo 季語(きご)

a word that represents the season in haikai and renga poetry.
KI means season
GO means word

In olden times, these words were simply called
ki 季, season or
ki no kotoba 季の詞(ことば)word of the season or
shiki no kotoba 四季の詞 word of the four seasons

The meaning is almost similar to kidai 季題, a seasonal theme, which comprises various kigo, season words.

The utamakura 歌枕(うたまくら) "poetic words" of the Heian period were already divided into the 12 months.

In the renga book of 1672 連歌至宝抄 (renga shihooshoo) by Satomura Joha (Jooha) 里村紹巴(じょうは)there were 270 kigo mentioned.

Since the Edo period, the number of kigo has grown rapidly and kiyose and saijiki have been compiled, see above.

Modern saijiki contain more than 4000 kidai and more than 9000 kigo.

The ONLINE Nyūmon Saijiki of the University of Virginia Library includes approximately 800 kidai, or headwords, and 2,100 kigo, or subtopics.
The Japanese text is intended for the Japanese readers. The English is a translation.

utamakura 歌枕 poetry pillow words" utamakura 
Placenames used in Haiku


Nature, Literature and the Arts

Haruo Shirane

By the eighth century, "a larger grammar of seasonal poetry" began to emerge, according to which emotions were not expressed directly, but implied through seasonal references instead.
This required a sophisticated understanding of their usage and became what we think of now as Japan's traditional poetic art.
..... The cycle of the seasons represented there "is not a reflection of the natural environment," the book explains, but part of a developing aesthetic.
..... Shirane makes an important distinction between "primary" and "secondary" nature, the latter referring not to the forests, rivers and mountains given so much attention in the writings of conservationists, but to the representation of nature in the arts.

Read the full article HERE
quote book review by David Burleigh


Time in Saijiki

In the traditional lunar calendar,

spring was from the first month through the third month,
summer from the fourth month through the sixth,
autumn from the seventh month through the ninth, and
winter from the tenth month through the twelfth.

Even after 1873, new saijiki were edited one after another.
The saijiki of the new era, however, could not just attach the season words to similar dates of the solar calendar, so that, for example, an observance of the ninth day of the ninth month (old style) would be attached to 9 September (new style). Events and customs that were firmly bound tothe old calendar still remained throughout the country.

Read more :

. Time in Saijiki - - - by Hasegawa Kai


A type of book derived from haiku and kyooka 狂歌 Kyoka, comic "crazy verses"

Kibyooshi Kibyōshi 黄表紙 "Yellow Cover Books"
is a genre of Japanese picture book kusazōshi (草双紙) produced during the middle of the Edo period, from 1775 to the early 19th century. Physically identifiable by their yellow-backed covers, kibyōshi were typically printed in 10 page volumes, many spanning two to three volumes in length, with the average number of total pages being 30. Considered to be the first purely adult comicbook in Japanese literature, a large picture spans each page, with descriptive prose and dialogue filling the blank spaces in the image.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. WKD : Books of the Edo Period .

. seihonshi 製本師 bookbinder .


***** Seasons and Categories
Learn the Basics of World Kigo.

Izumo Fudoki (Izumo Fuudoki 出雲風土記) Records of Ancient Izumo


New Year Collection

. Kidai and Kigo 季題と季語

. WKD : The use of kigo in worldwide haiku


. WASHOKU ... Japanese Food Saijiki

. Chinese origin of Japanese kigo .

Kigo used by
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .






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CLICK for more photos

Yemen (Arabic: اal-Yaman), officially the Republic of Yemen (Arabic: al-Jumhuuriyya al-Yamaniyya) is a Middle Eastern country located on the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia. With a population of about 20 million people, Yemen is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the North, the Red Sea to the West, the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden to the South, and Oman to the east. Yemen's territory includes over 200 islands, the largest of which is Socotra, about 415 kilometres (260 miles) to the south of Yemen, off the coast of Somalia. It is the only republic on the Arabian Peninsula. The capital is Sanaa (Sana'a).

Yemen is one of the oldest centers of civilization in the world. Between 2300 BC and the sixth century AD, it was part of the Sabaean, Awsanian, Minaean, Qatabanian, Hadhramawtian, Himyarite, and some other kingdoms, which controlled the lucrative spice trade. It was known to the Ancient Romans as Arabia Felix ("Happy Arabia") because of the riches its trade generated. Augustus Caesar attempted to annex it, but the expedition failed. The Ethiopian Kingdom of Aksum annexed it by around 520, and it was subsequently taken by the Sassanids Persians around 570.

In 1839, the British occupied the port of Aden and established it as a colony in September of that year. They also set up a zone of loose alliances (known as protectorates) around Aden to act as a protective buffer. North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918 and became a republic in 1962. In 1967, the British withdrew and gave back Aden to Yemen due to extreme pressure of battles with the North and Egyptian allies. After the British withdrawal, this area became known as South Yemen. The two countries were formally united as the Republic of Yemen on May 22, 1990.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !



We use the four classic seasons.
There are also two rainy seasons, monsoon-like:

spring monsoon: march / april
summer monsoon: july / august

"Most of Yemen lies in the border zone between two main weather patterns: the regular northerly winds (from the Mediterranean basin) and the southwest monsoon winds. These create a fairly well-defined seasonal rhythm; the northerly winds predominate during the winter, while in the summer the southwest monsoon brings the primary rains.
Cut off from this pattern by the central mountains, the southern fringe areas on the Gulf of Aden experience a markedly tropical climate."

Yemen: Climate and Rainfall





Al Khallool flute

Arab Spring
the Arab “uprising” (Intifada), the Arab “awakening” (Sahwa).

Berries, Badian berries

Bread from Lahj (khamir lahaji)

Burj Khalifa Building in Dubai

Canna lily

Chameleon, Veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus)

Civil War, 1994

Desert, sand desert

Eid Al-Adha "Festival of Sacrifice" (Eid-ul-Adha)

Eid Al-Kabir, Aid Al Kabir

Honey badger, ratel Mellivora capensis

Henna, Hennah (Lawsonia inermis, syn. L. alba)

. Islamic Holidays, Muslim Holidays  

Katydid, long-horned grasshopper, bush cricket

Khat, Catha edulis, chewing khat

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) Yemen

Night of Power, Lailatul Qadr / Lailat-Ul-Qadr

Orchid, orchids

Ramadan, "moon of faith"

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus)

Sambosa, samosa Food during the Ramadan

Sana'a, Aden Sanaa, the capital of Yemen

Shawwal and fasting the month of Shawwal

Socotra Island

Tea, tea glass




Yemen Public Holidays as KIGO


Bulbul mating and nesting season

Bird egg shells

Mother's day
March 21

Prickly Pear Cactus, Opuntia FamilyFlowers

Quince flowers (blossoms) Arabic Name: Safarjal

Sodom apple blossoms

Starling, amethyst starling and other birds

Thorny-headed globe thistle
Echinops spinosissimus and other thistles

Turtles nesting

Western Reef Heron (Egretta gularis)

Woodpecker breeding Arabian woodpecker (Dendrocopos dorae)



Acacia blossoms

Arabian gentian Exacum affine

Barbados Pride (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)

Cotton blossoms

Dates, ripe dates from the Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera)

Desert rose (Adenium obesum)

Dust clouds

Flame of the Forest Tree (Delonix regia)

Floods, monsoon rain

Forty days of water

Iris, bearded Iris (Iris albicans)


Juniper berries

Mango fruit

Melon / cool melon / watermelon

Millet planting

Mosquito net

National Unity Day, Day of National Unity

Marigold Plants in the family Asteraceae.

Prickly Pear Cactus, Opuntia FamilyFruit

Quince fruit Arabic Name: Safarjal

dense clouds (July-August)
sea storming / storming sea or "upwelling"
runoff water

Straw hats (dholas, kofias and hadrami)

Thunderheads, lightning and rumbling thunder

Water tank (As-Saharieg)

Yemen linet (Carduelis yemenensis) Birds:
Yemen thrush (Turdus menachensis), Palm Dove (Streptopelia senegalensi) and Yemen warbler (Parisoma buryi)



Black kite (Milvus migrans)

Coffee berries coffee beans

Cotton harvest, cotton bolls

eucalyptus flowers

Independence Day


Millet harvest

October in the desert

Olive, olives (fruit)

Papaya tree leaves pawpaw leaf

Revolution Day, September 26

Yellowfin tuna (thamad)
Thunnus albacares



almond flowers

Camel, Dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) Yemen



Honey, Winter honey



Screw worm, screw worms

Sand skiing, dune skiing


General Information

. . . When Yemen Blooms

. . . Birds of Yemen

. . . More Birds of Yemen

YEMEN TIMES newspaper




- North America Saijiki LIST

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The North American Saijiki Project

Maybe in 100 years time, we might celebrate the

Great American Haiku Heritage Saijiki!

(I invented this word in September 2007.)

North America is a large continent, comprising
Canada, the United States and Mexico, politically.

The World Kigo Database is trying to establish saijiki for different regions of it.
Rather then struggeling with unfamiliar Japanese kigo,
go ahead and pick up your local regional items !

If you want to introduce your own region in greater detail, please feel free to contact me to establish your own area saijiki. It takes time and effort and then more time, but maybe, you are onto something.... The Japanese Saijiki was not written in one week either ... smile ..

Gabi Greve


The most general collection of kigo for North American here:

World Kigo Database : Kiyose for Northern America

Regional Saijiki:

World Kigo Database : Alaska Saijiki

World Kigo Database : Canada Saijiki .. SAIJIKI Canadiens

World Kigo Database : Chesapeake Bay Saijiki

World Kigo Database : Florida Saijiki

World Kigo Database : New England Saijiki
With many Memorial Days, Holidays and other Observances

World Kigo Database : Oklahoma Saijiki
The Southwest of North America

Prairie : North American Prairie Saijiki

World Kigo Database : Sierra Nevada

World Kigo Database : Sonoran Saijiki


External LINKs
(let me know yours for registration !)

Selected by Kenkichi Yamamoto
Translated by Kris Young Kondo and William J. Higginson
source : haikai/renku

Haiku Society of America (est. 1968) - HSA

HSA Regional Chapters
Washington / Plains and Mountains / Midwest / Northeast New England / Oregon / Southwest / South / Southeast / Northeast Metro / California / Alaska / Mid-Atlantic
With extensive info about the regional members.
source :

Boston Haiku Society

Haiku Northwest

Haiku Oregon

New Orleans Haiku Society (NOHS)

Haiku Poets of Northern California

North Carolina Haiku Society Blog

Haiku Poets of Northern California
President: Garry Gay

Haiku San Diego Blog
steering committee: Billie Dee,,Seretta Martin,,Naia,,Megan Webster
2010 Southern California Haiku Study Group Anthology
Billie Dee, editor

Central Valley Haiku Club, California
w. f. owen, President

Southern California Haiku Study Group Blog
With many kigo for the monthly haiku meetings.

Kigo Lists for Southern California Billie Dee

BACKKUP ... Kigo Lists for Southern California

Yuki Teikei Haiku Society

San Francisco Bay Area Nature Guide and Saijiki
Patrick Gallagher , Anne M. Homan, Patricia J. Machmiller
A combination of field guide and haiku; beautiful photographs and art accompany descriptions of seasonal occurances of natural phenomena and human activities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each element is accompanied by haiku that evoke an emotional or spiritual aspect of the human interaction with the natural world.
September 2010
. . . . . Test Reading at LULU publications

Red Moon Press was founded in 1993.
Our goal is to continue to publish the best in English-language haiku from around the world.
Red Moon Press / Jim Kacian

The Haiku Foundation (THF)
Jim Kacian
. The Haiku Foundation, troutswirl BLOG  
July 2010

NaHaiWriMo - National Haiku Writing Month
Michael Dylan Welch.
source : site/nahaiwrimo

now features a lot of regional haiku groups.
Please check the HSA facebook page for further information.
source :


heat lightning --
all the way into Mexico
the mountains rise

Michael McClintock
The Heron's Nest, II:5


Some kigo and topics

of the Southern California Season Word List

Chinese lantern festival
Cinco de Mayo
El Dia de los Muertos
Election Day (Nov)
Festival of Books
French Open
National Poetry Month
Oscar awards
Summer Shakespeare


Some kigo and topics
of the World Kigo Database

Amisch, Amish, Amish Mennonites
Amstrong, Lance Armstrong road racing cyclist
Appleseed, Johnny Appleseed, John Chapman (1774 - 1845)

Baseball and related kigo
"Best of the year" list, 10 best list
Big Sur, California
Blue Ridge Mountains
Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM)

Bridges in the USA
Bay Bridge San Francisco
Brooklyn Bridge New York
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Bumbershoot festival Seattle, Washington

Cape Fear, North Carolina
Challenger Space Shuttle
Chickadee, Poecile atricapillus
Corn shucking, corn husking
Cracker Jack
Crane Canyon Regional Park, California
Cowboys Blanket Dallas, Texas

Dulicmer "hog fiddle"

Eastwooding, Cling Eastwood
Evening Snow - Linanthus dichotomus

Family Day
Folsom Street Fair and Festival San Francisco
Fourth of July, Independence Day

Geoduck clam (Panopea generosa)
Girl Scout cookies

Haboob, sandstorm Arizona
Houston, Whitney Houston (1963 – 2012)

Indian paintbrush (Castilleja)

Jackie Robinson Day USA
Jazz Music

Labor Day, Labour Day September
Lakota Sioux People
La Paloma - song
Liatris, Blazing-Star

Mallomars chocolate cookies New Jersey
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Meadowlark - state bird of Wyoming
Milkweed (toowata 唐綿)

National Gallery of Art, Washington,D.C.
New York - places

Obama, Barack Obama

Redwing - Turdus iliacus

Rimrock, cliff formations
Robin, American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
Rhode Island : WaterFire

Scouting for Food
Snow, Phoebe Snow

Taku Winds, Alaska
Tax paying season, income tax
Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis)
Tex-Mex food Texas, Mexico
Tipi teepee, Lakota tent
Tule fog California

Washington, George Washington (1732 - 1799)

Yukon River





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The local climate is hot, humid, and tropical. The average yearly temperature is around 26.5°C. There are three recognized seasons:

Tag-init or Tag-araw (the hot season or summer from March to May),
Tag-ulan (the rainy season from June to November), and
Taglamig (the cold season from December to February).

The southwest monsoon (May-October) is known as the "Habagat" and the dry winds of the northeast monsoon (November-April) as the "Amihan".

CLICK for more photos


. . . . . KIGO

Amihan and Habagat monsoon

Ati-Atihan Festival , Kalibo, Aklan

Barangay Fiesta

Bataan Day (Araw ng Kagitingan) Bataan Beach

Bonifacio Day


Independence Day, June 12, 1898

Laundry day


Mother's Day (second sunday in May)

Narra tree and blossoms, Golden ShowerPterocarpus indicus

New Year, First Haiku

New Year 2009 in the Philippines

Pounding Rice

School opening, starting school

Three Kings Day , Epiphany


. . . . . HAIKU TOPICS

Aswang shape shifter

Bagoong anchovy paste
Banca, bancas, outrigger canoes
belo, veil (fb)
bibingka and puto bumbong food (fb)
- Birds -

Euphorbia blossoms

Cagsawa ruins and Mount Mayon volcano
Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus), also called Quarrion or Weero
Coconuts and Coconut palm trees
Cricket frog (genus Acris)

Donsol Beach
Dynamite fishing, blast fishing

Euphorbia cactus

FISH from the Philippines
..... Fish Market
Food, generally
Food, vegetables


Kanduli, Salmon catfish
Kapre and other monsters
Kesz Valdez Philippines, Children’s Peace Prize 2012

Llocos region

Manta Ray (Manta birostris)
Milkfish (Chanos chanos) also called Bangus. Boneless Bangus.
Mindanao Island
Mount Makiling, Anna Makeling
Mud fish
Munia bird, Chestnut Munia, maya pula Lonchura atricapilla jagori

Nipa hut

Paco Station Manila
Paoay Church, Ilocos Norte
Pasig River and tug boats Manila
Pinoy street food

Rabbit fish
Rice in the Philippines

Sampaguita, a kind of Jasmine Jasminum sambac
San Miguel Beer
Surgeon fish

Taal Lake
Taro (gabi) taro root
Tarsier, Philippine Tarsier (Tarsius syrichta)
the world's smallest monkey
Tawilis (Sardinella tawilis)
Tilapia Fish, Nile Perch
- - - species of cichlid fishes from the tilapiine cichlid tribe.
Tinikling dance, tikling bird
Typhoon Ketsana, September 2009

Vanda orchids

Wahoo fish (Acanthocybium solandri)

Yakal tree - Shorea astylosa


.................................. Haiku Poets

Angelo B. Ancheta

lumipad ang maya
galing sa balikat ng nagjojogging
patalikod sa araw

a maya rises
from a jogger's back
on the sun

source : Simply Haiku

. Angleo on facebook .


Wilfredo R. Bongcaron

1.) Awake

Listen! the humming,
the buzzing and the chirping,
nature is awake.

2.) Pond

Raw flakes swiftly tossed,
Slow in the pond they wiggle,
the goldfish I feed.

© February 2008

Daily Life in the Philippines
A Haiku Collection


Bos Tsip - AoSuzume
Joys of Japan, facebook


Melchor Cichon

Boracay Beach--
the setting sun
waves in the sea

Read more of his poems and haiku here:

© Haiku by Melchor Cichon
Iloilo, Philippines


after Typhoon Undang--
begin to sing again

after harvest--
Fundidor instead of Tanduay
on the table

after the riot--
a couple of activists
share the rising full moon

Aklan River bank
after the flood
the river smiles

Read more here:

© Haiku by Melchor Cichon : Aklanon Literature


Roh Mih

The Walk of Ten Thousand Steps

before the buddha
yet to bloom

kind enough
to pick up a fallen leaf
the elephant

... ... ...

a glass of water

Ramadan October 2005

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

All Saints Day--
candles melting
in every gate

On the night of All Saints Day, the typical Filipino household traditionally lights a candle (or candles) and places it by the door or by the gate. The candle is supposed to scare ghosts or spirits away. But the tradition also reminds us of our mortality, and how short our life is on earth.
Here's a text message I received today from an elderly woman among the indigenous people in the northern part of the Philippines:

Remembering those gone first is recognizing our mortaility and honoring our short passage with faith and fidelity.

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

old tree--
into its stillness
a grass lizard

the silence of
cash registers

NOTE on the second haiku:
Most Filipinos are Catholics. Especially in the rural areas, the recitation of the Angelus is seriously being observed not only at homes but also in public places. In one supermarket I visited, everyone -- including, of course, the cashiers -- had to stop at the start of the Angelus. You don't hear any sound, especially the sound of cash registers. The Angelus moment therefore serves as a break from our daily struggle in the material world, and a reminder of the spirituality of our existence.

roh mih, Manila, Philippines
Taoist. haijin

Read more in the BLOG of Roh Mih


Victor P. Gendrano

In the Philippines, one of the rural customs for the new year is to fill the rice bin (or container) on or before new year to prevent hunger in the family throughout the year. It need not be really full, but never empty at all. Like in most Asian countries, Filipinos are rice eaters, their staple food.

new year
a full rice bin
to prevent hunger

Victor P. Gendrano, Philippines, 2007

When the first wave of Spanish colonizers arrived in the Philippines in 1521, they found a self-sufficient people with a primitive form of government who were highly literate and rich in oral tradition. The early Filipinos had a spoken as well as incipient written language of their own. They used an ancient Tagalog syllabary called baybayin, which they wrote on palm leaves, bamboo or hard surface with a knife or stylus.

Read more HERE
Tagalog and English Haiku
by Victor P. Gendrano

Simply Haiku, 2005


Lanie Shanzyra P. Rebancos

In ancient temple
a murmur of prayers

A dash of rainbow-
wooden carts fiiled with


Santiago Villafania

. transluscent pages
in the afric of my mind ―
bonsaic verses .


Editors: Jean Vengua & Mark Young
ISBN: 951-9198-72-5

Poetry. Multicultural Studies. The "hay (na) ku" is a poetic form invented by Eileen Tabios, as inspired by Richard Brautigan, Jack Kerouac, and Tabios' meditations on the Filipino transcolonial and diasporic experience. The form is deceptively simple: a tercet comprised of one-, two- and three-word lines.

Inaugurated on June 12, 2003 (Philippine Independence Day), the form swiftly became popular and since has been used by poets all over the world.


Mga Haiku ni Basho sa Inakeanon
Basho's Haiku in Aklanon
Aklanon is the language of Aklanons in the province of Aklan, Philippines.

by Melchor F. Cichon

The following are my translations of Basho's haiku as published in On Love and Barley Haiku of Basho, translated by Lucien Stryk. Penguin Books, 1985.

1. Sa bag-o kong kapa
kainang agahon—
eain nga tawo.

2. Mga kaeanasan, mga kabukiran
it Hubaku, sa
siyam nga adlaw--tagtubo.

3. Kada dag-on,
ro maskara't amo
kapakita ro pagkaamo.

4. Bag-ong Dag-on--ro Basho-Tosei
nga gina-istaran
ginahagungan it haiku

5. Bag-ong Dag-on—
may kasubo
halin pa ku tigdaeagas

253. Gaoy sa pagwinayod
sa gagiltak nga kaeanasan
mga damgo nagapadayon.

Translated by Tata Goloy

Basho's Haiku in Aklanon.
Read the whole collection.

Safekeep Copy


All-Filipino Haiku Contest, August 2006
external link

The contest was organized by the Japan Information and Cultural Center , Embassy of Japan and the University of Santo Tomas Graduate Studies in commemoration of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Year.


an article below from ARAB NEWS
Imagine a world without Philippinos
June 2008


CLICK for more Information !


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