HAIKU

 

Last Updated: February 27, 2006

 

The following haijin are translated on this page:

 

UEJIMA ONITSURA (8) – KOBAYASHI ISSA (42) - KAWABATA BŌSHA (2) – HARA SEKITEI (1) – ŌSHIMA RYŌTA (6) – MIZUHARA SHŪŌSHI (4) – IIDA DAKOTSU (3) – MURAKAMI KIJŌ (1) – KAGAMI SHIKŌ (1) – MATSUO BASHŌ (66) – YOSA BUSON (62) – YAMAMOTO RYŌKAN (7) – YOKOI YAGŪ (1) – NAITŌ JŌSŌ (6) – NAKAMURA KUSATAO (2) – NOZAWA SETSUKO (2) – KATŌ SHŪSŌN (1) – KATŌ KŌKO (1) – ISHIZAKI RYOKUFŪ (1) – ŌNO RINKA (1) – NISHIJIMA BAKUNAN (1) – YAMAZAKI SŌKAN (3) – CHIYO-NI (54) – CHIGETSU (4) – KISHIDA CHIGYO (1) – MUKAI KYORAI (4) – TAKAHAMA KYOSHI (5) – MASAOKA SHIKI (30) – SAITŌ SANKI (1) – TAGAMI KIKUSHA (3) – TAN TAIGI (15) – ABE MIDORIJO (1) – SONO-JO (2) – KINPŪ (1) – NAGAI KAFŪ (1) – HACHIYA YOSHIKO (1) – TOMIYASU FŪSEI (1) – KANEKO TŌTA (1) – MORI SUMIO (1) – MUKAI KANA (1) – ENOMOTO SEIFU (3) – SUGIKI MOICHI (1) – HARI BAKUSUI (1) – RYŪHO (1) – MORIKAWA KYOROKU (5) – ARŌ (1) – MATSUOKA SEIRA (2) – KAWAKAMI FUHAKU (1) – FUJIMORI SOBAKU (1) – ENOMOTO KIKAKU (7) – SAKAI HŌITSU (1) – TOYODA CHŌSUI (1) – MIZUTA MASAHIDE (1) – SEISEI (1) – MIYAKE SHŌZAN (1) – CHŌMU (1) – HATTORI RANSETSU (4) – TAKAYA SŌSHŪ (1) – YAMAGUCHI SEISHI (1) – SUGIYAMA SAMPŪ (1) – SHISEI-JO (2) – HŌSHA (1) – AMPŪ (1) – SHŌ-I (1) – GIJŌEN (1) – YASUHARA TEISHITSU (2) – ARAKIDA MORITAKE (1) – KUROYANAGI SHŌHA (3) – TAKAI KITŌ (3) – TOHŌ (1) – MIKI ROFU (1) – SHIRŌ (1) – RIKUTO (1) – KIfIN (1) – YASUI (1) – YAMEI (1) – KAYA SHIRAO (3) – RIYU (1) – HOKUSHI (1) – KIGIN (1) – KAKEI (1) – ŌTOMO ŌEMARU (2) – YAHA (2) – TŌRI (1) – CHINE-JO (1) – RYŪSUI (1) – ETSUJIN (3) – KISHŪ NOMURA (1) – KONISHI RAIZAN (1) – GOCHIKU (1) – SŌIN (1) – CHŌSHŪ (1) – SODŌ (1) – KATŌ GYŌDAI (3) – CHŌI (1) – HAGI-JO (1) – OTSUYŪ (1) – SHIHYAKU (1) – TEIJI (1) – OTSUJI (1) – KYOKUSUI (1) – SHARA (1) – NAITŌ MEISETSU (2) – ROSEKI (1) – BAISHITSU (1) – RŌKA (1) – KATSURI (1) – GINKŌ (1) – RYŪSHI (1) – KOYŪ-NI (1) – KOSHŪ (1) – MIURA CHORA (6) – SAKAMOTO SHUSETSU (1)

 

kono aki wa                                     this autumn,

           hiza ni ko no naki                            no child on my knee

                      tsukimi kana                                    to watch the moon

 

tanimizu ya                                      sakura-slopes;

           ishi mo uta yomu                            in the valley-stream,

                      yamazakura                                     even the stones make songs

 

shitagau ya                                      concordance:

           oto naki hana mo                            a flower without a sound

                      mimi no oku                                    and the depths of the ear

 

ō-ashita*                                          on the first day,

           mukashi fukinishi                            the pristine swish

                      matsu no kaze                                 of the wind in the pines

 

*ō-ashita, egreat dayf: the first day of the year.

 

saku-karani                                     the blossoms bloom,

           miru-karani hana no                        we look at them,

                      chiru-karani                                     the blossoms fall,

 

ume chitte                                        after the fall

           soreyori nochi wa                            of the plum-flowers –

                      tennōji                                             Tennōji Temple

 

fude toranu                                      will anyone not

           hito mo arō ka                                 be reaching for his brush?

                      kyō no tsuki                                    this dayfs moon

 

ara ao no                                         how densely green,

           yanagi no ito ya                               the willow boughs

                      mizu no nagare                                in flowing water

 

uejima onitsura (1660-1738)

 

 

uguisu ya                                         before the lord,

           go-zen e dete mo                              the nightingale sings

                      onaji koe                                          the same song

 

daimyō o                                         the daimyo

           uma kara orosu                               was made to dismount –

                      sakura kana                                     sakurac

 

tsugi no ma no hi de                        in the next roomfs light

           meshi o kuu                                     I eat my meal –

                      yo samu kana                                  cold out

 

yama-yake* no                                floating down

akari ni kudaru                                mountain fire-light

yobune kana                                    night-boat

 

*yama-yake: emountain-fire.f  In spring, fires were started in the mountains to burn away dead grass and prepare the fields for tilling.

 

ō botaru                                           a large firefly

           yurari yurari to                                flickering, flickering

                      tōri keri                                           flits by

 

beta beta to                                     sticking and clinging

           mono ni tsukitaru                           to everything –

                      haru no yuki                                   spring snow

 

uguisu no                                         the nightingale sings

           mekikishite naku                             with a critical eye

                      wagaya kana                                   on my house

 

yase-gaeru                                       thin frog,

makeru na Issa                                donft give in,

kore ni ari                                        Issa is here

 

kado-gado ni                                   at every gate

           geta no doro yori                             spring stands in the mud

                      haru tachinu                                    on the clogs

 

haru na hi ya                                   spring day;

           mizu sae areba                                 evening remains

                      kure nokori                                      in pools

 

ware shinaba                                   when I am gone,

haka-mori to nare                            guard my gravestone,

                      kirigirisu                                          cricket

 

oni to nari                                        now an oni,*

hotoke to naru ya                            now the Buddha,

doyō-gumo                                      dog-day clouds

 

*oni: Japanese demon/ogre.

 

ikite iru                                            alive,

           bakari zo ware to                             thatfs all; I and

                      keshi no hana                                  the poppy

 

kasumi hi ya                                    misty day;

           sazo tennin no                                 tedium

                      otaikutsu                                         in heaven  (imit.)

 

yabuiri* ya                                      Apprentice Day;

           haka no matsukaze                          in the pines round the grave,

                      ushiro fuku                                      the wind blows behind

 

*yabuiri: on the 16th of January

 

katasumi ni                                      the two sooty dolls

           susukeshi hina mo                           in the corner, too,

                      fūfu kana                                         are man and wife

 

uguisu ni                                          the fence

           ategatte oku                                     shall be allotted

                      kakine kana                                     to the warbler

 

ariake ya                                          daybreak;

           ame no naka yori                             from the middle of the rain

                      naku hibari                                      a skylark song

 

kyō kara wa                                    as from today

           nihon no kari zo                              you are geese of Japan

                      raku ni ine                                       sleep in peace

 

chō tobu ya                                     the butterfly –

           kono yo ni nozomi                          flitting in this world

                      nai yō ni                                          without hope

 

kinodoku ya                                    Ifm sorry

           ore o shitōte                                    that you follow me,

                      kuru kochō                                      butterfly

 

kerorikan                                         with a nonchalant

           to shite karasu to                             manner, the crow

                      yanagi kana                                     and the willow

 

yama no tsuki                                 the mountain-moon

           hana nusubito o                               shineth on

                      terashi tamō                                    the flower-thief

 

 

shiratsuyu no                                  donft tread on the drops

           tama fungaku na                              of white dew,

                      kirigirisu                                          cricket

 

yūdachi ya                                       summer downpour;

           hadaka de norishi                            riding naked

                      hadaka-uma                                     on a naked horse

 

oto bakari                                        just the sound –

           demo yūdachi no                             yet a summer shower

                      yūbe                                                evening

 

shinanoji ya                                     the way to Shinano;

           ue no ue ni mo                                 higher, yet higher,

                      taue-uta                                           the rice-planting song

 

mi no ue no                                     knowing the bell

           kane to shiritsutsu                           is tolling our days;

                      yūsuzumi                                         evening cool

 

ka-ibushi mo                                   the mosquito-smudge

           nagusame ni naru                            brings comfort, too,

                      hitori kana                                       when alone

 

kōmori ya                                        bats;

           tori naki sato no                              a birdless village

                      meshijibun                                       at tea-time

 

yo ga yokuba                                   the world is well;

           mo hitotsu tomare                           another fly may settle

                      meshi no hae                                   on the rice

 

nikenya ya                                       two houses;

           niken mochitsuku                            two houses making mochi,

                      aki no ame                                       autumn rain

 

kuchi akete                                      opening their mouths,

           oya matsu tori ya                            the fledgelings wait;

                      aki no ame                                       autumn rain

 

tama-arare                                       hailstones –

           yotaka* wa tsuki ni                         in moonlight, the nighthawks

                      kaerumeri                                        come home

 

*yotaka: the lowest kind of prostitute in Edo, who would walk the streets with a straw mat.

 

suzukaze ya                                     cool breeze;

           chikara ippai                                   the grasshopper singing

                      kirigirisu                                          his all

 

dochira kara                                    whence

           samuku naru zo yo                          does the cold become,

                      kakashi-dono                                   Mr. Scarecrow?

 

makegiku o                                      looking again

           hitori minaosu                                 at the chrysanthemum

                      yūbe kana                                        that lost; evening

 

hiikime ni                                        regarded

           mite sae samui                                 in a favourable light,

                      soburi kana                                     he still looks cold

 

mikazuki wa                                    the crescent moon

           soru zo samusa wa                          is bent back; the cold

                      saekaeru                                          is keen

 

kossori to                                        quietly

           shite kasegu nari                              earning his keep –

                      misosazai                                         the wren

 

hito chirari                                       people whirling,

           ko-no-ha mo chirari                         leaves whirling,

                      horari kana                                      swirling c

 

fuyukodachi                                    winter grove –

           mukashi mukashi no                       the tones of long,

                      oto su nari                                       long ago

 

kobayashi issa (1763-1827)

For many more translations of Issa, see David G. Lanouefs website:

http://webusers.xula.edu/dlanoue/issa/index.html

 

 

suishō no                                         reflected in the crystal

nenju ni utsuru                                of my rosary –

                      wakaba kana                                   young leaves

 

meimetsu no                                    the flickering

izure kanashiki                                of soon sorrowful

                      hotaru kana                                     fireflies

 

Kawabata Bōsha (1900-41)

 

 

sabishisa ni                                      from loneliness,

mata dora utsu ya                           striking the gong again,

                      kabiya-mori                                     Kabiya-keeper*

 

*A Kabiya is a lookout post to protect crops from foxes and boars.  Smouldering wood emits an unpleasant smell that keeps them at bay.

Hara Sekitei (1886-1951)

 

 

asa-kaze ya                                      morning breeze –

tada hito-suji ni                               only a line

                      age-hibari                                        of rising skylarks

 

owarete wa                                      when hunted,

           tsuki ni kakururu                             he hides in the moon –

                      hotaru kana                                     firefly

 

tomoshibi o                                     looking at the light,

           mireba kaze ari                                you see the wind;

                      yoru no yuki                                   snowy night

 

mono iwazu                                     not speaking a word,

           kyaku to teishu to                           the guest, the host,

                      shiragiku to                                     and the white chrysanthemum

 

meigetsu ya                                     harvest moon –

umare-kawaraba                              the birth of change,

                      mine no matsu                                 a pine on a peak

 

hitotsu to wa                                   unthinkable

           omowanu yo nari                            there should be only one –

                      kyō no tsuki                                    this dayfs moon

 

Ōshima Ryōta (1718-87)

 

 

yama-zakura                                    mountain sakura –

setsu-rei ten ni                                 in the snow-peak sky

                      koe mo nashi                                   no sound

 

tōtsu-yo no                                      far generations

omowa kashikoshi                       similar faces –

                      kibori-bina                                       woodcarved dolls

 

ichi-rin no                                        a single

shimo no bara yori                          frosty rose

                      toshi akuru                                      opens a year

 

kamo wataru                                   wild ducks cross

           gekka roteki no                                beneath the moon; the rushes

                      oto mo nashi                                   make no sound

 

Mizuhara Shūōshi (1892-1981)

 

 

yama-dera no                                  mountain-temple

to ni kumo asobu                            gate in drifting cloud –

                      higan kana                                       spring equinox

 

mura-boshi ni                                  wisps of cloud

usu-gumo wataru                            cross the host of stars –

                      shoshū kana                                    early autumn

 

fuyu-tomoshi                                   winter lamp –

shi wa yōgan ni                               death from the face

                      tōkarazu                                          is not far

 

                                                        winter flame –

                                                                   death from the face

                                                                              does not keep its distance

 

(Imitation:)                                      winter-lit

                                                                   a face once-removed

                                                                              from death

 

Iida Dakotsu (1885-1962)

 

 

haru no yo na                                  spring night

naki-nagara neru                             crying to sleep

                      kodomo-tachi                                  my children

 

Murakami Kijō (1865-1930)

 

 

suge-gasa o                                      wearing a sedge-hat,

kite kagami miru                             looking in the mirror,

                      chatsumi kana                                 picking tea

 

Kagami Shikō (1665-1731)

 

 

inazuma ya                                      lightning –

yami no kata yuku                          into the darkness

                      goi no koe                                        a night-heronfs cry

 

byōgan no                                       a wild goose falls

           yosamu ni ochite                             ill in the cold night;

                      tabine kana                                      itinerant sleepc

 

hototogisu                                       cuckoo

           kieyuku kata e                                 fading towards

                      shima hitotsu                                   a lone isle

 

meigetsu ya                                     harvest moon

ike wo megurite                            milling round the pond

                      yomosugara                                     throughout the night

 

tsuki hayashi                                   the moon is fleet

           kozue wa ame o                               while branches clasp to

                      mochinagara                                    the rain

 

araumi ya                                        turbulent sea;

Sado ni yokotau                              over Sado Isle

amanogawa                                     the River of Heaven*

 

*amanogawa: the Milky Way.

 

furuike ya                                        an old pond

kawazu tobikomu                            a frog jumps into

mizu no oto                                     the sound of water

 

nao mitashi                                      wishing once more to glimpse

           hana ni akeyuru                               in the dawning blossoms

                      kami no kao                                    the face of the god

 

saki midasu                                     among a confusion

           momo no naka yori                         of peach-blooms,

                      hatsu-zakura                                    the first cherry-blossom

 

natsu-kusa ya                                  summer grasses;

tsuwa-mono-domo ga                      ruins

                      yume no ato*                                   of soldiersf dreams

 

                                                        summer grasses

                                                                   warriorsf dreams

                                                                              over

 

                                                        summer grasses;

                                                                   remnants

                                                                              of veteransf dreams

 

                                                        summer grasses –

                                                                   the aftermath

                                                                              of strong menfs dreams

 

*Composed at Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture, where Yoshitsune, the hero of the Heike Monogatari, met his end.

 

tabi ni yande                                    waning on a journey

yume wa kare-no o                          dreams through withered fields

                      kake-meguru                                   are wandering

 

kono michi ya                                  no one walks

yuku hito nashi ni                           with this road –

                      aki no kure                                      autumn evening

 

samidare* o                                     gathering summer

           atsumete hayashi                             rain, the swift

                      Mogamigawa                                   Mogami River

 

*samidare: early summer rain, lit. efive-month-rainf. In the traditional calendar, the fifth month, esatsukif, begins on June the 6th; esamidaref refers to the persistent drizzle that is followed by intense heat and humidity.

 

atsuki hi o                                       sinking the hot sun

           umi ni iretari                                    into the sea –

                      Mogamigawa                                   Mogami River

 

shizukasa ya                                    silence –

iwa ni shimi-iru                               throbbing through the rock

                      semi no koe                                     cicada cry

 

yagate shinu                                    no sign

keshiki wa miezu                             of dying soon –

                      semi no koe                                     cicada chirp*

 

*Bashōfs patron, Sengin (ecicada-songf), died young.

 

ushi-beya ni                                     in the cowshed

ka no koe yowashi                       mosquitoes whirring weakly –

                      aki no kaze                                      autumn wind

 

hasu-ike ya                                      lotus-pond –

           orade sono mama                            unpicked, intact,

                      tama-matsuri                                   for the festival of souls

 

fuki tabi ni                                       every gust a voyage –

           chō no inaoru                                  the butterfly in a whirl

                      yanagi kana                                     on the willow

 

mono ieba                                        but a word

           kuchibiru samushi                           and lips are cold –

                      aki no kaze                                      autumn wind

 

yo no naka wa                                 time for the world

           inekaru koro ka                               to harvest rice?

                      kusa no io                                        grass-hut

 

mugimeshi ni                                   on barley meal

           yatsururu koi ka                              or attenuated love?

neko no tsuma                                 catfs mate

 

nomi shirami                                   fleas and lice

           uma no shito suru                           and a horse drizzling

                      makura moto                                   by my pillow

 

fūryū no                                          poetry

           hajime ya Oku* no                          rising; an Oku

                      taue uta                                           rice-planting song

 

                                                        the seeds of art;

                                                                   a rice-planting song

                                                                              of the North

*Oku: the North of Honshū; the Interior.

 

suzushisa o                                      taking my quarters

           wa ga yado ni shite                         at coolness,

                      nemaru nari                                     I repose c

 

tsuka mo ugoke                               c shake your tomb!

           wa ga naku koe wa                          my weeping voice c

                      aki no kaze                                      c autumn wind c

 

aka aka to                                        red, red,

           hi wa tsurenaku mo                         the heartless sun, yet

                      aki no kaze                                      autumn wind

 

muzan ya na                                    ruthless

           kabuto no shita no                          underneath the helmet

                      kirigirisu                                          cricket

 

ishiyama no                                     a sharper white

           ishi yori shiroshi                             than the stones of Ishiyama –

                      aki no kaze                                      autumn wind

 

haiide yo                                          crawl out!

           kaiya ga shita no                             beneath the silkworm shed

                      hiki no koe                                      the croak of a toad

 

samidare no                                     spared from falling

           furinokoshite ya                              early summer rain –

                      hikari-dō                                          Hall of Light

 

suzushisa ya                                    refreshing –

           hono mikazuki no                            a faint crescent moonfs

                      Haguro san                                      Mount Haguro

 

hitotsu ya ni                                    sharing a roof

           yūjo mo netari                                 with sleeping harlots –

                      hagi to tsuki                                    bush-clover and the moon

 

mayuhaki o                                     reminiscent

           omokage ni shite                             of eyebrow brushes –

                      beni no hana                                    safflower blossoms

 

sabishisa ya                                     the loneliness!

           Suma ni kachitaru                           deeper still than Suma,

                      hama no aki                                     autumn shore

 

meigetsu ya                                     harvest moon –

           hokkoku biyori                                weather without order

                      teimenaki                                         in the North

 

no wo yoko ni                                 turn the horsefs head

           uma hikimuke yo                             towards that moor;

                      hototogisu                                       hototogisu

 

kane kiete                                        the bell fades,

           hana no ka wa tsuku                       the flower-fragrance rises –

                      yūbe kana                                       evening

 

saru o kiku hito                               the monkeyfs cry

           sutego ni aki no                               a child abandoned

                      kaze ika ni                                       autumn wind  (imit.)

 

tako-tsubo ya                                  octopus-pots;

           hakanaki yume o                             empty dreams

                      natsu no tsuki                                 by the summer moon

 

fuki tobasu                                      blowing in stones,

           ishi wa asama no                             the autumn tempest

                      nowaki kana                                   from Asama Mountain

 

fuyugomori                                     winter seclusion;

           mata yorisowan                               nestling this post

                      kono hashira                                   once again

 

ro no koe nami o utte                      the slap of oar on wave,

           harawata kōru                                 a night to freeze

                      yo ya namida                                  the bowels – tears

 

chiru yanagi                                     falling willow-leaves;

           aruji mo ware mo                            Master and I

                      kane o kiku                                      listen to the bell

 

nagaki hi o                                       the day isnft long

           saezuri taranu                                  enough for the song

                      hibari kana                                      of the skylark

 

hiru mireba                                     seen by day

           kubisuji akaki                                  the fireflyfs nape

                      hotaru kana                                     is red

 

hiya-hiyato                                      cool, cool,

           kabe o fumaete                                feet against the wall;

                      hirune kana                                     midday snooze

 

hototogisu                                       cuckoo-cry –

           koe yokotau ya                                obliquely

                      mizu no ue                                       over the water

 

kyō nite mo                                     in Kyōto,

           kyō natsukashi ya                           yearning for Kyōto

                      hototogisu                                       hototogisu

 

sumadera ya                                    Suma Temple

           fukanu fue kiku                               listening to the unblown flute

                      koshitayami                                     among the pine-tree shades

 

tsukimi suru                                    a company viewing

           za ni utsukushiki                             the moon; not one

                      kao mo nashi                                   has a beautiful face

 

mi ni shimite                                    the bitter white radish

           daikon karashi                                 bites into me –

                      aki no kaze                                      autumn wind

 

niwatori no                                      in the voice

           koe ni shigururu                              of the cock, the cow-shed

                      ushiya kana                                     in drizzle

 

hito mo minu                                   unseen Spring –

           haru ya kagami no                           at the mirrorfs reverse,

                      ura no ume                                      the blossoming plum

 

yo no natsu ya                                 summer in the world;

           kosui ni ukabu                                 floating in the lake,

                      nami no ue                                       on the waves

 

On a self-portrait by Unchiku, a Kyōto monk, with his face turned away:

kochira muke                                   turn this way –

           ware mo sabishiki                           I am lonely too;

                      aki no kure                                      autumn evening

 

chō tori no                                       unknown to bird

           shiranu hana ari                              and butterfly, this flower:

                      aki no sora                                      autumn sky

 

On a night when rain obscured the full moon:

tsuki izuko                                       where is the moon –

           kane wa shizumite                           the bell has sunk

                      umi no soko                                    to the ocean floor

 

ikka mina                                        all the household,

           shiraga ni tsue ya                            grey hair and sticks,

                      haka-mairi                                       visit the graves

 

asagao ya                                        morning-glory –

           kore mo mata waga                         this, too can never

                      tomo narazu                                    be my friend

 

shira tsuyu o                                   without spilling

           kobosanu hagi no                            white dew – the swaying

                      uneri kana                                       lespedeza

 

asagao wa                                        morning-glory –

           heta no kaku sae                              even poorly painted,

                      aware nari                                       it has pathos

 

higoro nikuki                                   even the crow,

           karasu mo yuki no                          normally hateful –

                      ashita kana                                      snowy morn

 

sukumiyuku ya                                crouching onwards –

           bajō ni kōru                                     on horseback

                      kagebōshi                                        a frozen shadow

 

umi kurete                                       darkening sea –

           kamo no koe                                    the wild ducksf cries

                      honoka ni shiroshi                           are dimly white

 

inazuma ni                                       how striking!

           satoranu hito no                              those not enlightened

                      tōtosa yo                                         by the lightning

 

Matsuo Bashō (1644-94)

 

 

hashi nakute                                    no bridge and day

hi kuren to suru                               on the point of falling –

                      haru no mizu                                   spring waters*

 

*the traveller is stopped at a stream swollen by the spring rains.

 

mizu-giwa mo                                  the water also loses

           nakute furue no                               its edges; drizzle

                      shigure kana                                    at Furue

 

haru no umi                                     spring sea;

           hinemosu notari                              rising softly, softly

                      notari kana                                      subsiding, all day c

 

osoko hi ya                                     tarrying day;

           kodama kikoyuru                            echoes in nooks

                      kyō no sumi                                    of Kyōto

 

osoko hi no                                     lingering days

           tsumorite tōki                                  accumulate the distance

                      mukashi kana                                  of the past

 

muramura no                                  in the villages

           negokoro fukenu                             sleep wears on;

                      otoshi mizu                                     falling water

 

se no hikuki                                    on a low horse

           uma ni noru hi no                           riding through a day

                      kasumi kana                                    of mist

 

ochi-kochi ni                                    heard far and near,

taki no oto kiku                               the rush of a cascade –

                      wakaba kana                                   young leaves

 

yama-dori no                                   stepping on

o o fumu haru no                             a copper pheasantfs tail –

           iri-hi kana                                                   spring sunset

 

fuyugare ya                                     winter wasteland;

           yo wa hito iro ni                              in a monochrome world

                      kaze no oto                                      the sound of the wind

 

shōjō to shite                                   bleakly into

           ishi ni hi no iru                                stone, the sun on

                      kareno kana                                     the withered moor

 

hatsushimo ya                                 the first frost;

           wazurau tsuru o                              seeing a suffering crane

                      tōku miru                                        in the distance

 

harusame ya                                    spring rain –

           hito sumite kemuri                          someone is there, smoke

                      kabe o moru                                    from the wall

 

ashiyowa no                                    muddied by wearily

           watarite nigoru                                wading feet –

                      haru no mizu                                   spring water

 

hina-mise no                                    when closing

           hi o hiku koro ya                             the doll-shop lights –

                      haru no ame                                    spring rain

 

hata utsu ya                                     tilling the field;

           konoma no tera no                          from the forest, the temple

                      kane-kuyō                                       bell tolls

 

harusame ya                                    spring rain –

           mono kakanu mi no                        the pity of one

                      aware naru                                      who canft write

 

hata utsu ya                                     tilling the field;

           ugokanu kumo mo                          the motionless cloud

                      nakunarinu                                      is gone

 

uguisu no                                         a nightingale

           ategatte oku                                     is singing – turning

                      kakine kana                                     here, turning there

 

umi koete                                         crossing the sea

           kasumi no ami e                              into a net of mist,

                      iru hi kana                                       the sinking sun

 

uguisu no                                         a nightingalefs voice

           koe tōki hi mo                                 in the distance

                      kure ni keri                                      another day ends

 

kaeru kari                                        returning wild geese;

           tagoto no tsuki no                           the rice-field moon

                      kumoru yo ni                                   in gathering cloud

 

ie ni arade                                        away from home;

           uguisu kikanu                                  the warbler unheard

                      hitohi kana                                      for a day

 

tsurigane ni                                      stopping

           tomarite nemuru                              on the temple bell

                      kochō kana                                      the butterfly asleep

 

kimi yuku ya                                   you leave;

           yanagi midori ni                              in the green of willows

                      michi nagashi                                  the road is long

 

yama kurete                                     the mountains grow dark,

           momiji no ake o                               divesting the maple leaves

                      ubai keri                                          of their crimson

 

shiraume no                                     the white plum-tree

           kareki ni modoru                             is back at barrenness –

                      tsukiyo kana                                    moonlit night

 

ikada-shi no                                     with the storm

           mino ya arashi no                            the raftsmenfs raincoats

                      hana-goromo                                   are blowing robes

 

hana chirite                                      the blossoms have scattered –

           ko-no-ma no tera to                         now to the branches

                      nari ni keri                                       the temple

 

kusa kasumi                                    grasses in mist

           mizu ni koe naki                              waters with silence;

                      higure kana                                      evening

 

yuku haru ya                                   departing spring;

           shunjun to shite                               late cherry-blossoms

                      osozakura                                        waver

 

shoku no hi o                                  conducting a light

           shoku ni utsusu ya                          with a flame;

                      haru no yū                                       spring evening

 

kusa kasumi                                    misty grass

           mizu ni koe naki                              and voiceless waters –

                      higure kana                                      falling night

 

fuji no hana                                     wisteria blossoms;

           ayashiki fūfu                                   a doubtful couple

                      yasumi keri                                      at rest

 

akikaze no                                       set in passing motion

           ugokashite yuku                              by the autumn wind –

                      kakashi kana                                   scarecrow

 

yūkaze ya                                        evening breeze –

           mizu aosagi no                                water laps against

                      hagi o utsu                                      the heronfs shins

 

kirigirisu                                         the cricket

           jizai o noboru                                  climbs up the pothook –

                      yosamu kana                                   cold, cold night

 

kōrō no                                            sunk in the lights

           hokage ni shizumu                          from the lofty tower –

                      wakaba kana                                   young leaves

 

mijikayo ya                                     short night;

           kemushi no ue ni                             pearls of dew

                      tsuyu no tama                                 on the butterfly grub

 

furuike no                                        at the old pond

           oshidori ni yuki furu                       snow falls on mandarin ducks

                      yūbe kana                                        in twilight

 

yūdachi ya                                       sudden shower –

           kusaba o tsukamu                           clinging to blades of grass,

                      murasuzume                                    the village-sparrows

 

ichinichi no                                      another today;

           kyō mo kayari no                            mosquito-smudge

                      kemuri kana                                    smoke

 

sushi oshite                                     pressing sushi;         

           shibaraku sabishiki                         a gradual feeling

                      kokoro kana                                    of loneliness

 

hototogisu                                       the cuckoo

           hitsugi o tsukamu                            snatches at the coffin

                      kumoma yori                                   from the clouds

 

tori mare ni                                      birds are few

           mizu mata tōshi                               and waters far;

                      semi no koe                                     cicada-cry

 

kagiri aru                                         a limited

           inochi mo hima ya                           lifefs leisure –

                      aki no kure                                      autumn twilight

 

hitori kite                                         one came

           hitori o tou ya                                 and visited someone;

                      aki no kure                                      autumn evening

 

asagiri ya                                         morning mist;

           e ni kaku yume no                           a dream in paints

                      hito-dōri                                          of people passing

 

akisame ya                                      autumn rain;

           mizusoko no kusa o                        walking in water

                      fumaretaru                                       on grass

 

akikaze ni                                        scattered

           chiru ya sotoba no                           in the autumn wind –

                      kanna-kuzu                                      stupa shavings

 

kanashisa ya                                    sadness –

           tsuri no ito fuku                              a fishing-line blows

                      aki no kaze                                      in the autumn wind

 

sendō no                                          the ferrymanfs pole

           sao toraretaru                                  has been stolen –

                      nowaki kana                                    autumn storm

 

yasezune no                                     a breeze through the hairs

           ke ni bifū ari                                    of skinny shanks –

                      koromogae                                      spring clothes

 

gōriki wa                                         the mountain-guide

           tada ni misuginu                              simply ignores

                      yamazakura                                     the sakura

 

machibito no                                   far away,

           ashioto tōki                                     the long-awaited footsteps;

                      ochiba kana                                     fallen leaves

 

kasa torete                                       his hat blown off,

           menmoku mo naki                           the scarecrow

                      kakashi kana                                   loses face

 

yama wa kure                                  on the mountain, night;

           no wa tasogare no                           on the moor,

                      susuki kana                                     susuki dusk

 

sara o fumu                                     the sound of a rat

           nezumi no oto no                             scuttling over a plate –

                      samusa kana                                    cold, cold

 

kangetsu ya                                     winter moon;

           mon naki tera no                             the temple has no gate,

                      ten takashi                                       how tall the sky

 

kogarashi ya                                    winter blast –

           kane ni koishi o                               pebbles are blown at

                      fukiateru                                          the bell

 

kangetsu ya                                     winter moon;

           sō ni yukiau                                     meeting a monk

                      hashi no ue                                      on the bridge

 

waga hone no                                  my bones

           futon ni sawaru                               feel the futon –

                      shimoyo kana                                  frosty night

 

Yosa Buson (1716-84)

 

 

akikaze ni                                        autumn wind –

hitori tachitaru                                a figure

sugata kana                                     standing alone

 

hatsu-shigure                                   first winter-rain –

namonaki yama no                          a nameless mountain

omoshiroki                                      quaintly

 

teppatsu ni                                      in the begging-bowl

asu no kome ari                               tomorrowfs rice –

yūsuzumi*                                       evening breeze

 

*yūsuzumi: cooling oneself in the evening after work and the heat of the Japanese summer day.

 

yuku aki no                                     the poignancy

aware o tare ni                                of closing autumn, whom

kataramashi                                     to tell?

 

hito no mina                                    when everyone

nebutaki toki no                              wants to sleep –

gyōgyōshi                                        reed-warblers*

 

*egyōgyōshif: eexaggeratedf. It refers to the sound made by the yoshikiri (reed-warbler).

 

Someiro* no                                    bring tidings

otozure tsugeyo                               from Mt. Shumi,

yoru no kari                                    eventide wild geese

 

*Mt. Shumi: at the centre of the Buddhist paradise. Ryōkan is requesting the migrating wild geese to return from the West with news of his father.

 

taorureba                                         fallen

taorurumama no                              still

niwa no kusa                                   garden plants

 

yamamoto ryōkan (1758-1831)

 

 

fūrin wa                                           the wind-chimes

nara-de tokei no                              do not tinkle, the clock

                      atsusa kana                                     heat–

 

Yokoi Yagū (1702-83)

 

 

sabishisa no                                     falling through

soko nukete furu                             the bottom of loneliness –

                      mizore kana                                    sleet

 

no mo yama mo                              field and mountain

           yuki ni torarete                                taken by the snow

                      nani mo nashi                                  are nothing

 

harusame ya                                    spring rain –

           nuke-deta mama no                         still shapeless,

                      yogi no ana                                      the empty pyjamas

 

matsukaze o                                    listening to the blows

           uchikoshite kiku                              of the wind through the pines,

                      kawazu kana                                   the frog

 

hototogisu                                       a cuckoo

           naku ya kosui no                             calls; the lake

                      sasa nigori                                       is a little muddy

 

yuki yori mo                                    snow is not nearly

           samushi shiraga ni                           so cold – the winter moon

                      fuyu no tsuki                                   in white hairs

 

naitō jōsō (1662-1704)

 

 

fuyu umi ya                                     winter sea –

rakka no gotoku                              shed from the clouds

                      kamome uku                                    seagulls float

 

fuyu sude-ni                                    winter already

rohyō ni magau                               like a signpost,

                      haka ikki                                         the gravestone

 

Nakamura Kusatao (1901-83)

 

 

ame-tsuchi no                                  matching their breath,

iki aite hageshi                                 Earth and Heaven

                      yuki furasu                                      bring down tempestuous snow

 

samidare o                                       June rain

           sekitsutsu yume ni                           coughing as I travel

                      tabi shi ori                                       in a dream

 

Nozawa Setsuko (1920-95)

 

 

yamu hitomi niwa                           to the ailing eye

mabushiki mono ka                         they are dazzling,

                      fuyu sōbi                                         winter roses

 

Katō Shūsōn (1905-93)

 

 

hadaka-gi to                                    a naked tree

naritaru sora no                               making a sky without leaves –

                      fukasa kana                                     depthc

 

Katō Kōko (1931-)

 

 

sazanka* ya                                     sazanka

shira-kabe awaki                             a white wall with a pale

                      shiroki kage                                     white silhouette

 

*Sazanka (Camellia sasanqua: emountain-tea-flowerf): a tree of the tea-family, cultivated in gardens, which produces short-lived flowers towards the end of autumn.

Ishizaki Ryokufū (1935-)

 

 

kame no susuki                               vase susuki

no ni aru gotoku                              as in a field

                      yū-hi seri                                         in the setting sun

 

Ōno Rinka (1904-82)

 

 

sōma-tō                                           like the flow

nagaruru gotoku                              of a zoetrope,

                      hito oyuru                                       humans age

 

Nishijima Bakunan (1895-1981)

 

 

koe nakuba                                      without a voice

sagi koso yuki no                            white herons were only

                      hitotsurane                                      snow in a line

 

te o tsuite                                         with splayed hands

           uta mōshiaguru                               offering up a song,

                      kawazu kana                                   the frog

 

samuku tomo                                  though you grow cold,

           hi ni na atari so                               donft draw close to the fire,

                      yukibotoke                                      Snow-Buddha

 

yamazaki sōkan (1458-1546)

 

 

mi-agari ni                                       her body-debt paid,

           hitori nezame no                              she wakes up alone –

                      yosamu kana                                   ah, the cold of night*

 

*mi-agari: the money paid to obtain a prostitutefs release.

 

shimizu ni wa                                  in clear water

           ura mo omote mo                            there is no back

                      nakari keri                                       no front

 

suzushisa ya                                    coolness –

           yo fukaki hashi ni                            strangers on a bridge

                      shiranu dōshi                                   deep in night

 

ha mo chiri mo                                leaves and dust

           hitotsu utena ya                               on the one lotus-calyx –

                      yuki no hana                                   flowering snow

 

nanigoto mo                                    the commutation

           fude no yukiki ya                            of the writing-brush –

                      fuyu-gomori                                    hibernating

 

oto sōte                                           companion sounds –

           ame ni shizumaru                            the rain falls more softly

                      kinuta kana                                     cloth-pounding

 

meigetsu ya                                     full moon –

           yuki fumi wakete                             steps part the snow

                      ishi no oto                                       the sound of stone

 

hatsu shigure                                   first winter rain

           doko yara take no                           and somewherec

                      asaborake                                        bamboo dawn

 

taoraruru                                         fragrant

           hito ni kaoru ya                               to the hand that breaks –

                      ume no hana                                    plum-blossom

 

iriai wo                                            evening

           sora ni osayuru                               suppressed in the sky;

                      sakura kana                                     cherry blossoms

(read as eiriai no kanef, eevening bellf)

 

ne wo tsukete                                  womanfs passion

           onago no yoku ya                            taken root;

                      sumire-sō                                         wild violets

 

kaketaranu                                      never enough

onna-gokoro ya                               a womanfs heart;

                      doyōboshi                                       summer airing

 

natsu no yo no                                a summer evening

           chigiri osoroshi                                vow is appalling;

                      hashi no shimo                                frost on the bridge

 

more izuru                                       unveiled

           yama mata yama ya                        mountain meeting mountain;

                      hatsu-gasumi                                   first mists

 

ume ga ka ya                                   plum-blossom scent –

           doko e fukaruru                               whither has the snow

                      yuki onna                                        woman been blown?

 

somekanete                                      one mountain-slope retinged

           katayama momiji                             with maple leaves;

                      kataomoi                                         unilateral love

 

kaoru kaze                                       fragrant wind

           oku ni hikaete                                             held in the depths

                      matsu no hana                                            pine flowers

 

hototogisu                                       cuckoo –

           mada shirakami no                          still blank paper

                      aware nari                                       poignancy

 

mikazuki ni                                      in the crescent moon

           hishihishi to mono no                      deeply lowers

                      shizumarinu                                     hush

 

yūgure wo                                       twilight

           yoso ni azukete                                is left elsewhere;

                      momiji kana                                    red leaves

 

meigetsu ni                                      harvest moon –

           kaerite hanasu                                 returned with nothing

                      koto wa nashi                                  to say

 

izayoi no                                          sixteenth night*

           yami wo kobosu ya                         darkness in the taro

                      imo no tsuyu                                   dew drops

 

*The day after a full moon.

 

shiragiku ya                                     white chrysanthemums –

           beni saita te no                                the horror

                      osoroshiki                                       of rouged fingers*

 

*White chrysanthemums were placed around the head of the deceased; fingers applied rouge to the lips.

 

shinawaneba                                    if one does not bend

           naranu ukiyo* ya                            in the floating worldc

                      take no yuki                                    bamboo-snow

 

*Shinawaneba naranu: eif one does not + verb, that will not become [do]f – the Japanese way of expressing emustf.

Ukiyo: the efloating worldf of intransience and of sensual delight.

 

hatsu yuki ya                                   the first fall of snow;

           mono kakeba kie                             if I write a word, it melts,

                      kakeba kie                            if I write, it melts

 

yo no hana wo                                            the flower-world

           marū tsutsumu ya                enveloped –

                      oboro-zuki                                       hazy moon

 

chōchō ya                                        butterflyc

           nani wo yume mite                          what dreams does it see

                      hane tsukai                                      fanning its wings?

 

kiji naite                                          the pheasant sings

           tsuchi iro iro no                               the earth

                      kusa to naru                                    a spectrum of grasses

 

hito ashi ni                                      human legs

           sagi mo kieru ya                              herons disappear –

                      wakana no no                                  seven-herb field*

 

*Wakano no no: on January 7th, seven herbs are collected to make seven-herb-porridge, a New Yearfs dish that is believed to bring health.

 

akebono no                                      the parting of daybreak

           wakare wa motanu                          is never worn

                      hi-i-na kana                                     by dollsc

 

matsu kure mo                                waiting for evening

           akebono mo naki                             and daybreak no more;

                      kamiko kana                                    paper clothes

 

hirou mono                                      picked up

           mina ugoku nari                              everything moves –

                      shio higata                                       ebb-tide beach

 

tsukubōte                                        squatting,

           kumo wo ukagau                             visiting the clouds –

                      kaeru kana                                       a frogc

 

mono no oto                                    a night of sounds

           mizu ni iru yo ya                             entering water –

                      hototogisu                                       ho-to-to-gi-su

 

suzukaze ya                                     coolish breeze –

           tamoto ni shimete                            ensconced in my sleeves

                      ne-iru made                                     until sleep

 

koborete wa                                     spilt

           moto no mizu nari                           it is water again –

                      beni no tsuyu                                   safflower dew*

 

*Safflower: the flower from which rouge is made.

 

taki no ne mo                                  the sound of the waterfall

           hosoru ya mine ni                            narrows; in the peaks

                      semi no koe                                     cicada voices

 

hatsukari ya                                    first wild geese –

           iyoiyo nagaki                                   a lengthening line

                      yo ni kawari                                    of long nights

 

chanohana ya                                  tea-flowers –

           kono yūgure wo                              dusk delayed

                      saki nobashi                                    by blooms

 

kasatori no                                      Kasatori

           yama ya warai mo                           Mountain – a smile

                      modokashiki                                    still expecting

 

tsukikage mo                                   the moonfs shadow,

           tatazumu ya hana no                       too, pauses – cherry-

                      asaborake                                        blossom dawn

 

tomokakumo                                   anyway

           kaze ni makasete                             leave it to the wind

                      kareobana                                        dry miscanthus

 

ware yuki wo                                   I, snow

           mizu ni utsushite                             reflected in the water,

                      nirami keri*                                     glaring

 

*The speaker is a winter-hawk.

 

kawa bakari                                     only a river

           yami wa nagarete                            darkness is flowing

                      hotaru kana                                     firefliesc

 

yuku mizu ni                                   in moving water

           onoga kage ou                                 chasing its reflection –

                      tonbo kana                                      dragonfly

 

chō wa yume no                              butterfly –

           nagori wake iru                               traces of a dream within

                      hana-no kana                                   a field of flowers

 

yume samenu                                  a dream does not fade –

           tatami ni kiku no                             in the tatami today

                      sakishi kyō                                      chrysanthemum blossoms

 

shigururu ya                                    winter drizzle –

           hitorima ni kinō                               in a room yesterday

                      kyō mo kure                                    today ends

 

hitorine no                                       sleeping alone

           samete shimoyo wo                         wakened by the chilling night

                      satori keri                                        and aware

 

meigetsu ya                                     harvest moon;

           ittemo ittemo                                   I walk, and I walk,

                      yoso no sora                                    yet in a sky elsewhere

 

nani kite mo                                    whatever we wear,

           utsukushiku naru                            we look beautiful

                      tsukimi kana                                    viewing the moon

 

iu koto mo                                       also arranging words

           hana de totonou                              with its wings –

                      kōcho kana                                      butterfly

 

no ni yama ni                                  on moor and mountain

           ugoku mono nashi                           nothing moves –

                      yuki no asa                                      snowy morning

 

tsuki mo mite                                  and I saw the moon;

           ware wa kono yo wo                       now to this world

                      kashiku kana                                   farewell

 

chiyo-ni (1703-75)

 

 

hitorine ya                                       sleeping alone;

           yo wataru oga no                            a mosquito crosses night

                      koe wabishi                                     with a lonely voice

 

shitte shiranu                                   knowing not knowing

           mi no hodo kanashi                         the sad bounds of self –

                      aki no kure                                      autumn dusk

 

yamazakura                                     mountain sakura

chiru ya ogawa no                           are falling; the mill

                      mizugurama                                     on the brook

 

uguisu ni                                          nightingale;

           temoto yasumen                              I stop my work

                      nagashimoto                                    at the sink

 

chigetsu (1632-1706)

 

 

momijiyama                                    autumn hills –

           ironna iro ni                                    uncomposed

                      ochitsukazu                                     in many colours

 

kishida chigyo (1918-88)

 

 

iwa hana ya                                     the edge of the rock;

           koko nimo hitori                             here is another caller

                      tsuki no kyaku                                on the moon

 

ishi mo ki mo                                  and rocks, and trees –

           manako ni hikaru                            in the eyes the light

                      atsusa kana                                     of heat

 

kogarashi no                                    winter gale –

           chi ni mo otosanu                            the rain canft reach

                      shigure kana                                    the ground

 

u no hana mo                                  where the deutzias

           taema tatakan                                  come to an end, Ifll knock

                      yami no mon                                   on Darkness Gate

 

mukai kyorai (?1651-1704)

 

 

saezuri                                             twittering

           takamari owari                                rises and sinks

                      shizumarinu                                     into silence

 

kiri hitoha                                       a paulownia

           hi atarinagara                                  leaf in falling

                      ochinikeri                                        sunlight

 

nusundaru                                       on the stolen hat

           kakashi no kasa ni                          from the scarecrow,

                      ame kyū nari                                   hasty rain

 

mizu ni uku                                     a floating

           hishaku no ue no                             ladle beneath

                      haru no yuki                                    spring snow

 

itechō no                                          a frozen butterfly

           ono ga tamashii                               flies off

                      ōte tobu                                           after its soul

 

takahama kyoshi (1874-1959)

 

 

iku tabi mo                                      again and again

           yuki no fukasa o                              I ask for the depth

                      tazunekeri                                        of the snow

 

natsu yase no                                  summer thinness –

           hone ni todomaru                            life holds

                      inochi kana                                      at my bones

 

sunahama ni                                   in the sandy beach

           ashiato nagaki                                 footprints; long

                      haruhi kana                                     spring day

 

shinnen no                                      at New Year,

           hitsugi ni ainu                                  I met a coffin,

                      yonaka goro                                    around midnight

 

kawa ni sōte                                    beside a river,

           yukedo hashi nashi                          walking without a bridge;

                      hi no nagaki                                     the day is long

 

haru no yo ya                                  spring evening

           tsuma naki otoko                            what is the man

                      nani o yomu                                    with no wife reading?

 

ōbune no                                        a ship

           kobune hikiyuku                             towing a boat;

                      kasumi kana                                    mist

 

izakaya no                                       the tavern

           kenka mushidasu                             quarrel rekindled;

                      oborozuki                                        hazy moon

 

shimajima ni                                    on the islands

           hi o tomoshikeri                              lights are lit;

                      haru no umi                                     spring sea

 

hashi ochite                                     fallen bridge

           ushiro samushiki                             and lonely behind

                      yanagi kana                                     the willow

 

kamibina ya                                     paper dolls –

           koi shitasō na                                  their faces just look

                      kao bakari                                       like they want to be in love

 

yūdachi ya                                       summer shower –

           amado kuridasu                               sliding out the shutters,

                      gejo no kazu                                    many maids

 

enten ni                                            under the burning sun

           kiku o yashinau                               the master fosters

                      aruji kana                                        the chrysanthemums

 

hoshi no na o                                   a man knew well

           yoku shiru hito ya                           the names of the stars;

                      kadosuzumi                                     cooling at the gate

 

chōchin no                                       the lantern

           shidai ni tōshi                                  ever more distant;

                      hototogisu                                       hototogisu

 

kōmori no                                        the sound is dark;

           tobu oto kurashi                              a bat in flight

                      yabu no naka                                   in the thicket

 

nemuran to su                                 I want to sleep;

           nanji shizuka ni                               be so kind as to swat

                      hae o ute                                          the flies softly

 

te no uchi ni                                     inside the hand

           hotaru tsumetaki                             the fireflyfs light

                      hikari kana                                      is cold

 

hakabara ya                                     field of graves –

           haka hikuku shite                            the stones are low,

                      kusa shigeru                                    the grasses dense

 

kawasemi ya                                    kingfisher –

           mizu sunde ike no                            in the limpid pond

                      uo fukashi                                       the fish are deep

 

kasa tatamu                                     furling the umbrella,

           genkan fukaki                                  the entrance is deep

                      wakaba kana                                   with young leaves

 

nagaki yo ya                                    long night;

           shōji no soto o                                 outside the screen

                      tomoshi yuku                                  a lantern passing

 

hi tomoseba                                     lighting the lamp,

           hi ni chikara nashi                           the flame has no strength;

                      aki no kure                                      autumn dusk

 

uma orite                                         dismounting,

           kawa no na toeba                            I ask the riverfs name;

                      aki no kaze                                      autumn wind

 

mon o dete                                       ten paces

           juppo ni aki no                                out the door – the vast

                      umi hiroshi                                      autumn sea

 

hito ni nite                                       the scarecrows look

           tsukiyo no kakashi                          like men in moonlight –

                      aware nari                                       so sad

 

aki no ka ya                                     autumn mosquitoes –

           shinuru kakugo de                           resigned to death

                      ware o sasu                                     they bite me

 

tsukuzuku to                                   earnestly

           waga kage miru ya                          watching my shadow –

                      mushi no koe                                   insect voices

 

kangetsu ya                                     frozen moon;

           sekitō no kage                                 the stone pagodafs shadow

           matsu no kage                                 the shadow of the pine

 

kinden no                                        the palace

           tomoshibi hososhi                           lights are slender;

                      yoru no yuki                                    snowy night

 

masaoka shiki (1867-1902)

 

 

inu no nomi                                     a dogfs fleas

           samuki sakyū ni                              jump out

                      tobidaseri                                        into the cold dune

 

saitō sanki (1900-62)

 

 

kumo kasumi                                   imbibing clouds and mist

           nomitsutsu koen                              I cross the chrysanthemum

                      kiku no yamaji                                mountain-path

 

tsuki to ware                                   the moon and I

           bakari nokorinu                               alone remain;

                      hashisuzumi                                    cooling on the bridge

 

tsuki o kasa ni kite                          to wander with the moon

           asobaba ya                                      as a hat –

                      tabi no sora                                     travellerfs sky

 

tagami kikusha (1753-1826)

 

 

sore-zore no                                     each and every star

           hoshi arawaruru                              is brought to light –

                      samusa kana                                    how cold

 

(The starving deer)

sato e deru                                       emerging at the village,

shiki no se takashi                           the deer is tall

yukiakari                                         in the light of the snow

 

chiri wa mina                                   only sweepings,

           sakura nari keri                               no blossoms to be seen;

                      tera no kure                                     temple sunset

 

ume ikete                                         the blossoming plum

           tsuki to mo wabin                           and the moon – beauty at peace

                      tomoshikage                                    in lit shadows

 

fuyugare ya                                     withering winter;

suzume no ariku                              sparrows hop

           toi no naka                                      in the gutter

 

nodokasa ya                                    peacefulness;

           hayaki tsukihi o                               the fleetings months and days

                      wasuretari                                       passed from the mind

 

nagaki hi ya                                     long day;

           me no tsukaretaru                           my eyes are wearied

                      umi no ue                                        over the sea

 

kawa-shimo ni                                 downstream

           ami utsu oto ya                               the slap of a net –

                      oborozuki                                        hazy moon

 

furimukeba                                      behind, they are lighting

           hi tomosu seki ya                            the barrier lanterns;

                      yūgasumi                                         evening haze

 

hakikeru ga                                      having swept,

           tsui ni wa hakazu                            I cease to sweep

                      ochiba kana                                     the fallen leaves

 

hae o utsu                                        even the sound

           oto mo kibishi ya                            of their swatting flies is strict –

                      seki no hito                                      barrier-guards

 

asasamu ya                                      cold morning –

           tabi no yado tatsu                           risen voices

                      hito no koe                                      leaving the inn

 

tsumetasa ni                                    fingernails nipping,

           hōki sutekeri                                    I left the broom under

                      matsu no shita                                 the pine-tree

 

mizugame e                                      a rat

           nezumi no ochishi                            fell into a water-jar –

                      yosamu kana                                   cold night

 

kangetsu ya                                     winter moon –

           ware hitori yuku                              walking alone,

                      hashi no oto                                    the sound of the bridge

 

tan taigi (1709-71)

 

 

keichitsu ya                                     awakening spring;

           yōji no gotoku                                 like a toddler, the insect

                      ashi narashi                                     learns about legs

 

abe midorijo (1886-1980)

 

 

te o nobete                                       stretching out a hand

           ori yuku haru no                             in walking; the sprays

                      kusaki kana                                     and leaves of spring

 

haru no no ni                                   in a spring field

           kokoro aru hito no                          the depth of an unpainted

                      sugao kana                                      face

 

sono-jo (1647-1726)

 

 

kusa-ichi* e                                     Grassmarket –

           makero makero to                           bringing glower, lower!h

                      hi ga atari                                        the sun strikes

 

anonymous senryu

 

*The Grassmarket is held the night before the Bon Festival.  As the sun rises, latecomers urge the stallholders to reduce the price of their wares.

 

 

A criminal on his way to execution:

sono ato wa                                     Ifll hear the rest

           meido de kikan                                in the land of the dead,

                      hototogisu                                       hototogisu

 

anon

 

 

neko no koi                                     a cat in love

           nezumi mo torazu                            canft even catch a mouse –

                      aware nari                                       pathetic          (imit.)

 

kinpū (d.1726)

 

 

iromachi ya                                      where the town is red

           mahiru hisoka ni                             secretly at broad midday –

                      neko no koi                                     the amorous cat

 

nagai kafū (1879-1959)

 

 

shibu ga nure                                   the lawn is damp

           fuyu ga majika na                            with the close and covert feet

                      shinobu ashi                                    of winter

 

hachiya yoshiko

 

 

mienu mono                                    the unseen

           mie shinchin to                                takes shape in deep silence;

                      yowa no natsu                                 summer midnight

 

tomiyasu fūsei (1885-1979)

 

 

bochi wa yakeato                            the graveyard is a scorched ruin

           semi nikuhen no                              cicadas like gobbets

                      goto kigi ni                                      of flesh on the trees

 

kaneko tōta (1919-)

 

 

yukitsubute                                     stony snow;

           yoru no naraku ni                            in the abyss of night

                      saishi nete                                        my family sleeps

 

mori sumio (1919-)

 

 

tsukikage ni                                     in moonlight

           ugoku natsu ki ya                            moving summer

                      ha no hikari                                     trees; leaf-light

 

mukai kana (after 1651 – after 1704)

 

 

umi ni suru                                      limpid in the ocean

           uo no goto mi                                  its body like a fish

                      tsuki suzushi                                   chilly moon

 

hina no kao                                     the faces of the dolls;

           ware zehi naku mo                          without intending to,

                      oi ni keri                                          I have grown old

 

ki makura ni                                    my white hair grows attached

           shira kami nazumu                          to the wooden pillow –

                      yo samu kana                                  chilly night

 

enomoto seifu (1732-1814)

 

 

kaze o sae                                        he beckons

           maneki dashitaru                             even the wind

                      ōgi kana                                           with his fan

 

sugiki moichi (1585-1667)

 

 

tani mizu o                                       wrapping and spilling

           tsutsunde kobosu                            the valley-stream;

                      momiji kana                                    red leaves

 

hari bakusui (1718-83)

 

 

tsukikage o                                      moonlight

           kumi-koboshikeri                            scooped and spilled –

                      chōzubachi                                      wash-basin

 

ryūho (1594-1669)

 

 

imo o niru                                        as far as the potatoes

           nabe no naka made                          boiling in the pot –

                      tsukiyo kana                                    moonlit night

 

degawari ya                                     change of servants;

           karakasa sagete                               taking her umbrella,

                      yū nagame                                       evening view

 

rōsoku ni                                         to the candle

           shizumari kaeru                               as still as the grave –

                      botan kana                                      peonyc

 

rakugan no                                      falling, overlapping,

           koe no kasanaru                              the cries of the wild geese

                      yosamu kana                                   and the cold of night

 

rankan ni                                         rising to

           noboru ya kiku no                           the balustrade – the shadows

                      kageboshi                                        of the chrysanthemums

 

morikawa kyoroku (1656-1715)

 

 

hiyodori no                                      the bulbul sings

           sorekiri nakazu                                no longer;

                      yuki no kure                                    sunset snow

 

arō (1879-1951)

 

 

hane-oto sae                                    even the flapping of wings

           kikoete samushi                               is heard in the cold

                      tsuki no yoru                                  moon-lit night

 

ochi-tsumishi                                   on the heap

           tsubaki ga ue o                                of fallen camellias,

                      haru no ame                                    spring rain

 

matsuoka seira (1740-91)

 

 

ara no yuku                                     over the wild moor

           waga kage mo naki                          I have no shadow –

                      atsusa kana                                     how hot c

 

kawakami fuhaku (1719-1807)

 

 

furu o sae                                         I had forgotten

           wasururu                                         it was falling;

                      yuki no shizukasa yo                       the silence of the snow

 

fujimori sobaku (1758-1821)

 

 

waga yuki to omoeba                      if I think the snow mine

           karoshi                                            my hat

                      kasa no ue                                       becomes light

 

(on the death of Bashōfs pupil, Kōsai)

sono hito no                                    not even the sound

           ibiki sae nashi                                 of his snores;

                      aki no semi                                      autumn cicadas

 

tonbō ya                                          dragonfly

           kurui-shizumaru                              lunacy wanes –

                      mikka no tsuki                                crescent moon

 

14th December, 1701: the Night of the 47 Rōnins:

tsuki yuki no                                   among the moon-lit

           naka ya inochi no                            snow; where life

                      sutedokoro                                      shall be forsaken

 

yamadori no                                    in the sleepless

           nekaneru koe ni                               copper-pheasantfs cry

                      tsuki samushi                                  the moon is cold

 

inazuma ya                                      lightning –

           kinō wa higashi                               yesterday is east,

                      kyō wa nishi                                    today is west

 

yūhi kage                                         evening sun

           machinaka no tobu                          fluttering in the street

                      kochō kana                                      a butterfly

 

enomoto kikaku (1661-1707)

 

 

hoshi hitotsu                                    a star is left

           nokoshite otsuru                             by falling

                      hanabi kana                                     fireworks

 

sakai hōitsu (1761-1828)

 

 

shimo no kiku                                             frost on the chrysanthemums,

           nakigoto iini kuru                            a woman come

                      onna                                                to complain

 

toyoda chōsui (1750-1813)

 

 

tori chirasu                                      a scatter of toys

           asobi dōgu ya                                  abandoned –

                      aki no kaze                                      autumn wind

 

mizuta masahide (1657-1723)

 

 

chikurin ni                                       in the bamboo grove

           shigure fukikomu                            drizzle blows

                      yūbe kana                                        into evening

 

seisei (1869-1937)

 

 

mijikayo* ya                                    short night –

           mada nure iro no                             my washed hair holds

                      arai-gami                                         its wet colour

 

*mijikayo: a summer kigo

 

miyake shōzan (1718-1801)

 

 

choki-bune* ya                                open skiff –

           haru no yukue o                              as if in pursuit

                      ou gotoshi                                       of departing spring

 

*choki-bune: a small, low-hulled, pointed-bow boat with one oarsman; a popular form of transportation in Edo times.

 

chōmu (1732-95)

 

 

ganjitsu ya                                       New Yearfs Day –

           harete suzume no                             the cloudless tales

                      monogatari                                      of sparrows

 

ume ichirin                                      a plum-blossom more;

           ichirin hodo no                                a blossomfs more

                      atatakasa                                         of warmth

 

aosagi no                                         the heronfs

           gyatto nakitsutsu                             harsh screeching while

                      kyō no tsuki                                    todayfs moon

 

meigetsu ya                                     harvest moon;

           kemuri haiyuku                               smoke crawls over

                      mizu no ue                                       water

 

hattori ransetsu (1653-1707)

 

 

atama no naka de                            inside my head

           shiroi natsuno to                             a white summer field

                      natte iru                                           has become

 

takaya sōshū (1910-)

 

 

enten no                                           burning sun

           tōki ho ya                                        a distant sail

                      waga kokoro no ho                         of my heart

 

yamaguchi seishi (1901-)

 

 

na wa shirazu                                  I donft know the names;

           kusa-goto ni hana                            but every weed has blossoms

                      aware nari                                       and poignant charm

 

sugiyama sampū (1647-1732)

 

 

karakasa ni                                      pushed back

           oshimodosaruru                              by the umbrella –

                      shigure kana                                    winter rain

 

fumidai mo                                      a writing-desk,

           ryōshi mo tsuki mo                         paper and the moon –

                      yukata nite                                      plenty

 

Shiseijo

 

 

kokoro sumaseba                            clearing the mind,

           hayashi no oku no                          the dripping deep

                      shizuku nari                                    in the wood

 

Hōsha (1885-1954)

 

 

koe bakari                                       only its voice

           ochite ato naki                                 falling without a trace –

                      hibari kana                                      the skylark

 

Ampū (c.1707)

 

 

hana-iki no                                      even a snort

           arashi mo shiroshi                           is a storm in white

                      kesa no fuyu                                    this winter morning

 

Shō-i (17th-century)

 

 

matsuyani o                                    unable to escape

           hanare kanete ya                             the pine-tree resin –

                      semi no koe                                     cicada drill

 

Gijōen

 

 

uchitokete                                        variance resolved,

           kōru to mizu no                               water and ice

                      nakanaori                                        are at peace

 

suzushisa no                                    coolness

           katamari nare ya                             as a mass –

                      yowa no tsuki                                  midnight moon

 

yasuhara teishitsu (1610-73)

 

 

ganchō ya                                        New Yearfs Morning;

           kami-yo no koto mo                        I think of the Age

                      omowaruru                                      of the Gods

 

arakida moritake (1473-1549)

 

 

haru tatsu ya                                    spring rises –

           shizuka ni tsuru no                          quietly, to the feet

                      ippo yori                                         of the stork

 

furuki to ni                                      on the old door

           kage utsuriyuku                               the shadow cast in flight

                      tsubame kana                                  of the swallow

 

yūhikage                                          shadows of the sinking

           michi made izuru                             sun – the scarecrow

                      kakashi kana                                   reaches the road

 

kuroyanagi shōha (?-1771)

 

 

kuren to su                                      night descends

           haru no kurui ya                              hail falls;

                      arare furu                                        insanely spring

 

kiri fukashi                                      the fog is thick;

           nani yobariau                                  what calls between

                      oka to fune                                      hillock and boat?

 

tatazumeba                                      standing still,

           nao furu yuki no                              the snow falls further –

                      yomichi kana                                   evening road

 

takai Kitō (1741-89)

 

 

kagerō ya                                         shimmering heat;

           horohoro ochiru                              sand falls in fits and starts

                      iwa no suna                                     from the rock

 

Tohō (1657-1730)

 

 

ashiato o                                          ebb-tide beach –

           kani no ayashimu                            the crab suspects

                      shiohi kana                                      the footprints

 

miki rofu (1889-1964)

 

 

dokoyara de                                    somewhere or other

           uguisu nakinu                                  a nightingale sang –

                      hiru no tsuki                                    midday moon

 

Shirō (1742-1813)

 

 

kuma mo naki                                 in a cornerless sky

           sora ni kakururu                              hides

                      hibari kana                                      the skylark

 

Rikuto (17th C.)

 

 

kōsaku no                                        in the worked fields

           no wa shizumarinu                          hush has fallen;

                      yū hibari                                          evening skylarks

 

Kifin (1697-1748)

 

 

harukaze ni                                      in the spring wind

           chikara kuraburu                             the pitted strength

                      hibari kana                                      of the skylark

 

Yasui (1657-1743)

 

 

hiroki no o                                       the broad fields

           tada hito-nomi ya                            are swallowed in one

                      kiji no koe                                       pheasantfs cry

 

Yamei (17th C.)

 

 

hito koishi                                       my heart is yearning

           hitomoshi goro o                             candles are lighted

                      sakura chiru                                    flowers are falling

 

kayaribi no                                      at the end of the smoke

           kemuri no sue ni                              from the smudge,

                      naku ka kana                                   humming mosquitoes

 

hayanagi no                                     down Temple-Street

           teramachi suguru                             with leafy willows;

                      amayo kana                                     rain at dusk

 

Kaya Shirao (1735/8-1791/2)

 

 

kumo no mine                                 billowing clouds;

           ishiusu o hiku                                 a stone mill grinding

                      tonari kana                                      next door

Riyū (1660-1705)

 

 

waregane no                                    even the vibrations

           hibiki mo atsushi                             of the broken bell are hot –

                      natsu no tsuki                                  summer moon

hokushi (? – 1718)

 

 

natsu yase to                                   summer slimness,

           kotaete ato wa                                 comes the reply,

                      namida kana                                    then tears

Kigin (1623-1705)

 

 

u no tsura ni                                    torches fall

           kagari koborete                               on cormorantsf faces –

                      aware nari                                      

Kakei (1647-1716)

 

 

kyonen made                                   the melons I

           shikatta uri o                                   scolded him for last year –

                      tamuke keri                                     my offering

 

ou hito ni                                         lending

           akari o misuru                                 the pursuer light –

                      hotaru kana                                     firefly

 

Ōtomo Ōemaru (1722-1805)

 

 

hototogisu                                       cuckoo –

           kao no dasarenu                              my face forestalled

                      kōshi kana                                       by the lattice

 

hitogoe no                                       human voices

           yahan o suguru                                passing by at midnight –

                      samusa kana                                    cold, cold

 

Yaha (1662-1740)

 

 

kawasemi ya                                    kingfisher –

           nureha ni utsuru                              the setting sun reflected

                      yūhikage                                          in its feathers

Tōri (? – 1779)

 

 

moeyasuku                                      so easily glowing,

           mata kieyasuki                                so easily going out –

                      hotaru kana                                     fireflyc

Chine-jo (? – 1688)

 

 

mayoigo no                                     the lost child

           naku naku tsukamu                         is crying, crying, catching

                      hotaru kana                                     fireflies

Ryūsui (17th C.)

 

 

chiru toki no                                    falling

           kokoroyasuki yo                             so composedly!

                      keshi no hana                                  the poppy

 

yuku toshi ya                                  departing year –

           oya ni shiraga o                               I hid my grey hairs

                      kakushikeri                                      from father

 

andon no                                         the lantern

           susuke zo samuki                            is sooty; cold

                      yuki no kure                                    snow nightfall

 

Etsujin (1656-1702)

 

 

aki no kure                                      autumn dusk;

           karasu mo nakade                           a crow, without a cry,

                      tōri keri                                           has passed

 

kishū nomura (1886-1983)

 

 

amado kosu                                     distracted flame –

           aki no sugata ya                              across the shutters slides

                      hi no kurui                                       the shape of Autumn

 

konishi raizan (1654-1716)

 

 

nagaki yo ya                                    long night;

           omou koto iu                                   issuing thoughts,

                      mizu no oto                                     the sound of the water

 

gochiku (1699-1781)

 

 

kaze ni noru                                     riding the wind

           kawagiri karushi                              the light river mist

                      takasebune                                      and high-sided boat

 

sōin (1604-82)

 

 

kudakete mo                                    broken, again;

           kudakete mo ari                               broken, there, again:

                      mizu no tsuki                                   the moon in the water

 

chōshū (1852-1930)

 

 

ware o tsurete                                  viewing the moon;

           wa ga kage kaeru                             my shadow

                      tsukimi kana                                    brings me home

 

sodō (1641-1716)

 

 

akatsuki ya                                      daybreak;

           kujira no hoeru                                the singing of whales,

                      shimo no umi                                  a frosty sea

 

hi kuretari                                        descending with day

           mifi dera kudaru                              from Mii Temple,

                      haru no hito                                     the people of spring

 

ochiba ochi                                      fallen

           kasanarite ame                                leaves falling rain

                      ame o utsu                                       on rain

 

katō gyōdai (1732-92)

 

 

akikaze no                                       autumn wind –

           honemade tōru                                until the very bones

                      kakashi kana                                   of the scarecrow

 

chōi (1886-1930)

 

 

kasa torete                                       his hat on the ground,

           ame muzan naru                              relentless the rain

                      kakashi kana                                   on the scarecrow

 

hagi-jo (?)

 

 

aki fukete                                         autumn wears on;

           ko-no-ha goromo no                        robes of fallen leaves

                      kakashi kana                                   for scarecrows

 

otsuyū (1674-1739)

 

 

inabune ni                                        missed

           noriokuretaru                                  the harvest boat –

                      kakashi kana                                   scarecrow

 

shihyaku (?)

 

 

na o kiite                                         hearing its name

           mata minaosu ya                             I looked at it anew –

                      kusa no hana                                   flowering plant

 

teiji (17th c.)

 

 

tomo sureba                                    concomitance –

           kiku no ka samushi                         chrysanthemum scent is cold

                      yamiagari                                        when convalescing

 

otsuji (1881-1919)

 

 

samuki yo ya                                   chilly night –

           umi ni ochikomu                             the noise of a waterfall

                      taki no oto                                       into the sea

 

kyokusui (?-1717)

 

 

yoaruki ya                                       walking in night;

           toshi no nagori no                           parting from the year,

                      yuki ga furu                                     snow is falling

 

shara (17th c.)

 

 

kogarashi ya                                    withering wind –

           sora ni korogaru                              in the sky a single,

                      tsuki hitotsu                                    rolling moon

 

onna hitori                                       a woman,

           sō hitori yuki no                              a monk, a ferry

                      watashi kana                                   in snow

 

naitō meisetsu (1847-1926)

 

 

tsure mo naku                                 no companion,

           no ni suterareshi                              cast away on the moor –

                      fuyu no tsuki                                   winter moon

 

roseki (1870-1918)

 

 

se no takaki                                     I passed

           hōshi ni ainu                                    a tall priest –

                      fuyu no tsuki                                   winter moon

 

baishitsu (1768-1852)

 

 

kanashisa ya                                    sadness –

           shigure ni somaru                            dying the gravestone,

                      haka no moji                                   the cold, persistent rain

 

rōka (1669-1703)

 

 

hitori zutsu                                      one by one,

           furikakeruyuku                                the walkers fall from sight;

                      yukimi kana                                    snow-viewing

 

katsuri (1732-1817)

 

 

mizutori no                                      water-fowl,

           mune ni kuchibashi oku                  beak nestled in its breast;

                      ukine kana                                       floating sleep

 

ginkō (1718-90)

 

 

shizukasa ya                                    stillness;

           ochiba o ariku                                 the sound of a bird

                      tori no oto                                       walking the fallen leaves

 

ryūshi (?-1681)

 

 

hana chirite                                      the blossoms have fallen:

           shizuka ni narinu                             our hearts and minds

                      hito-gokoro                                     are at peace

 

Koyū-ni (18th C.)

 

 

te ni toreba                                      held in the hand,

           nao utsukushiki                               it is even more lovely,

                      sumire kana                                     the violet c

 

Koshū (?)

 

 

tabisugata                                       a traveller to the eyes,

           shigure no tsuru yo                         a stork in light cold rain –

                      bashōō                                            Bashō the Master

 

sukashi mite                                    looking through,

           hoshi ni sabishiki                            the willow is lonely

                      yanagi kana                                     with stars

 

hana ni kurui                                   beside itself at flowers,

           tsuki ni odoroku                              astonished by the moon –

                      kochō kana                                      the butterfly

 

tabibito no                                       the willow-tree

           mite yuku kado no                          by the gate; the travellers

                      yanagi kana                                     look as they go

 

shizukasa ya                                    silence –

           chiru ni sureau                                 the sound of blossoms

                      hana no oto                                     jostling as they fall

 

yo wa ureshiku                                happy nights

           hiru wa shizuka ya                          and quiet days –

                      haru no ame                                    spring rain

 

Miura Chora (1729-81)

 

 

ashioto mo kiete                              the footsteps, too,

           shigure no                                        fall away; once more,

                      mata ne kana                                   a drizzling sleep

 

sakamoto shusetsu (1656-1733)

 

 

 

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