Kigo used by Basho


- Kigo and kidai used by Matsuo Basho
松尾芭蕉と季語(季題)- Jahreszeitenworte -

With the dramatic growth of haikai in the seventeenth century, the number of new seasonal words grew rapidly.
- snip - ... while the number of seasonal words grew at an astounding pace, the number of seasonal topics remained relatively limited.

source : Haruo Shirane
Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons:
Nature, Literature, and the Arts

seasonal words - read kigo
seasonal topics - read kidai

tatedai 縦題 - 竪題 "vertical dai"
yokodai 横題 "horizontal dai"

kigo 季語, short for kisetsu no kotoba 節の葉 - a word indicating the season
. WKD - Kidai and Kigo 季題と季語 .


- - - Saijiki in the Edo period

Kitamura Kigin - Yama no I "Mountain Well" 北村季吟『山之井』 Yama no I
1624 -1705]comp. 1647-8
It contained 1300 kidai and season words.

............... later republished as
Zoo yama no i "Expanded Mountain Well "Yama no I" 1667

Kigin 季吟 was the haikai master and teacher of Matsuo Basho.

I assume that Basho and other disciples of Kigin studied these words in depth and knew all these kidai by heart after about one year (going through the four seasons) of their apprenticeship. After that time of study they passed the knowledge on to their own disciples.

Since seasonal references play an important role in the linked verse RENKU 連句, a haikai master like Basho had a lot to teach to his disciples.

. WKD : History of Japanese Saijiki 歳時記 .   



The kigo used by Basho are usually marked in the ABC index of this archive.
Check the tabs on the right.

- - - - - (For now) I prepared three special Basho SAIJIKI , they comprise also most of the cultural keywords that also figure as kidai:

. Basho SAIJIKI - gyooji 行事 - observances and rituals .

. Basho SAIJIKI - seikatsu 生活 - daily life, humanity .

. Basho SAIJIKI - tenmon 天文 - heaven .

- - - - -

Here I will add a few more summaries of hokku by Basho with a certain kigo.

In the pre-Meiji era (before 1868), almost all hokku/haiku contained a kigo.
For example,
Japanese experts have classified
only 10 of Matsuo Bashō's hokku in the miscellaneous (zō) category
(out of about 1,000 hokku).
The kigo saijiki KIGOSAI lists 1031 hokku, three of them have no kigo.
Other poems of the 5 7 5 type by Basho appeared in the middle part of a renku or kasen, where no season word was required.
They would not be seen as HOKKU 発句 - first KU in a linked verse - in his time. (see below, zappai).

The fifth season of "New Year" had not been invented yet, since the Asian lunar calendar determined the seasons.
"First Spring" was the New Year's Day or New Year's season, which lastet 15 days until the full moon of the first lunar month.
. WKD : The Haiku Seasons - then and now .

. WKD - Kigo used in Haiku .


Seasonal references were very important in the poetry of Japan since the Heian period. Manuals with collections of seasonal words grew as composing poetry moved on from the aristocracy to the townspeople of the Edo period.
For composing linked verses (renga) it was necessary to have a set of seasonal references.
Basho and his disciples played an important role in the growing interest of seasonal references, finding more and more seasonal items to include in their poetry.

This trend has been going on in our times, where modern words like "airconditioning" become a kigo as soon as a haiku poet makes use of the word in his poem.

On the other hand cultural kigo of the daily life popular in the Edo period have become obsolete, as the items themselves are not used any more.
This gives birth to even more saijiki to broaden our knowledge and understanding :

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

. History of Japanese Saijiki .

- - - - - Please try to read Haruo Shirane

Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons
source : www.amazon.com

- quote
the main points:

Secondary Nature: cultural surrogates for primary nature
-- textual (poetry, tales, etc.)
-- cultivated (gardens, meisho, ikebana, bonsai, food, etc.)
-- visual representations (painting, ukiyoe, architecture, dress, etc.)
-- performative (noh, kauki, festivals, annual observances)

Contrastive Typographies of Nature
waka-based nature: elegant, highly encoded, emphasis on color, scent, and sound (birds, insects, deer), harmony.

Satoyama (farm village)-based nature: nature as bounty/harvest, nature as feared and worshipped,animals/plants as gods (kami), and everyday animals, birds, and plants

Below are relevant excerpts from Haruo Shirane's new book, Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons: Nature, Literature, and the Arts:

One of the major reasons for the prominence of nature and the four seasons in Japanese literary and visual culture is the impact of Japanese poetry, particularly the thirty-one-syllable waka (classical poetry), the main literary genre of the premodern period. Indeed, all the major types of Japanese poetry -- kanshi (Chinese-style poetry), waka, renga (classical linked verse), and haikai (popular linked verse) -- use natural themes extensively.

Even those poems that appear on the surface to describe only landscape or nature serve to express particular emotions or thoughts. Japanese poetry rarely uses overt metaphor (for example, 'My love is a rose.'). Instead, the description of a flower, a plant, an animal, or a landscape became an implicit description of a human or an internal state.

Metonymy, especially the construction of a larger scene from a small detail, also played a crucial role, particularly in short forms like waka and seventeen-syllable hokku (opening verse of renga sequence). From the perspective of the reader, all such poetry will potentially have a surface (literal) meaning and a deeper meaning. Representations of nature in aristocratic visual culture -- whether painting, poetry, or design --- are thus seldom simply decorative or mimetic; they are almost always culturally and symbolically encoded, and that encoding tends to evolve with time and genre.

Each seasonal topic generated a cluster of associations, and the seasons (along with famous poetic places) developed associative clusters that became part of a cultural vocabulary.

The highly encoded system of seasonal representation created by poetry provided an enduring foundation for an increasingly complex and multilayered view of the four seasons.

In a country in which little original wilderness survives, reconstructed nature -- in the form of replanted forests, cultivated gardens, famous places (meisho), and shrinesand temple grounds -- has contributed to the greening of both the countryside and the urban environment. For city dwellers, who make up the vast majority of the population, representations of nature . . . raise awareness of the seasons . . . Although nature may be far away, it is relived or recaptured in the cultural imagination.

The pervasiveness of secondary nature in Japanese culture has often been mistaken for a closeness to or a belief in Japanese harmony with nature.
- source : neverendingstoryhaikutanka.blogspot.jp


From this BLOG, entries with the lable KIGO
. Basho Archives - KIGO entries .

This is a growing list. Please come back again !
This part is under construction.

. - aki no kure 秋の暮 - autumn dusk - .

botan 牡丹 peony
. WKD : botan 牡丹 peony .

. - cha 茶 tea - Tee - .

. - choo,蝶 choochoo 蝶々 butterfly - .
and the Chinese sage Chuang-Tsu (Chuang Tzu), Sooji 荘子 Soji、Zhuangzi

. fuyugomori 冬籠り winter confinement, winter isolation .

hagi  萩 bush clover
. WKD : hagi  萩 bush clover .

. hanami 花見 cherry-blossom viewing .
hanagoromo 花衣 robes for cherry-blossom viewing
hanamori 花守 warden of the cherry trees
hana no yado 花の宿 lodging with cherry blossoms
sakuragari 桜狩 "hunting for cherry blossoms"

. - hatsumono 初物 first things - .

. - hotaru 蛍 (ほたる) firefly, fireflies - .

. - hototogisu ホトトギス - .

. - izayoi 十六夜 moon on night 16 - sixteenth night moon - .

. - kari 雁 goose geese, wild geese - .

. - kiku 菊 chrysanthemum - .

. Withering Wind, Cold Gale (kogarashi 木枯らし, 木枯, 凩) .

. kusu no ki 楠木 camphor tree .
and the samurai Kusunoki Masashige 楠木正成

makuwa, makuwauri - Matsuo Basho liked makuwa uri very much and wrote quite a few haiku about them.
. WKD : makuwa uri 真桑瓜 Makuwa melon .

. - meigetsu 名月 harvest moon - .

. - nazuna 薺 sheperd's purse - . *

. - neko 猫 cat - .
neko no koi 猫の恋 cat in love
neko no tsuma 猫の妻 wife of the cat

. ran 蘭 orchid, orchids .

. - samidare 五月雨 - June rain .

. - semi 蝉 cicada / semi no koe 蝉の声 - . *

. - shigure 時雨 winter drizzle, sleet - .

shirauo, shira uo 白魚 whitabait
. WKD : Whitebait (shirauo 白魚) .

. - sumi 炭 charcoal - Ono-zumi小野 charcoal from Ono and more - .

. - suzushisa 涼しさ coolness - and suzumi 涼み -.

taki 滝 waterfall
. WKD : Waterfall, taki 滝 / baku 瀑 .

. Tanabata 七夕 Star Festival .
hoshi-ai, hoshi ai 星合 "the stars are meeting"

. - taue, ta-ue, ta ue 田植 rice planting - .

. - toogarashi 唐辛子 red pepper - .

. - toshi no kure 年の暮 end of the year - SAIJIKI humanity .

. - tsukimi 月見 viewing the full moon of autumn - .

. - tsuyu 露 dew, dewdrops - .

. - uguisu 鶯 nightingale, bush warbler - .

. - ume ga ka 梅が香 plum fragrance - .
and PLUM

. - yuugao 夕顔 bottle gourd - .
- - - - - and
asagao 朝顔 morning glory


- - - - - hokku with three kigo

. haru mo yaya keshiki totonou tsuki to ume .
spring, moon and plum blossoms

. tsumiken ya cha o kogarashi no aki to mo shirade .

(spring) picking tea leaves. winter storm. autumn.

- - - - - hokku with four kigo

. fuyu botan chidori yo yuki no hototogisu .
(winter) snow. winter peonies, plover, hototogisu (4 kigo in one poem!)


----- hokku and poems with NO kigo - muki 無季 - zappai 雑俳 
. - zappai 雑俳, zoo 雑 Zo - miscellaneous - .
Including middle poems of a renku, where no kigo was required.

季語別「芭蕉全句集」(1031句) - kigosai - Kigo Saijiki
List of 1031 hokku by Basho, according to the kigo he used.
Only 3 hokku listed do not have a kigo.
source : kigosai.sub.jp


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

Bashō regards kidai as a way to commune with the creative power of nature (zōka). Bashō does not regard kidai as a rule, but rather as a word or keyword establishing a relationship with kokoro (heart, mind). Kaneko Tohta paraphrases: “Bashō said to his disciples, ‘find kidai for yourself. If you are unable to do this, you cannot become a good haikaishi (haiku poet).’” Importantly, this is not because kidai is primary in itself, but rather that without finding an expression of language which unites Self with zōka, one cannot achieve a deep sense of heart (i.e. knowing).

Basho also has said, “Even if the word is not traditional kidai, in the case that the word has enough quality to be kidai, do choose it and use it. When you find a new kidai, it will be a great gift for the next generation” (Kyoraishō)."

The Heart in Season: Sampling the Gendai Haiku Non-season Muki Saij
source : Richard Gilbert - Simply Haiku 2006

. WKD : Kigo and Kidai 季語 - 季題  .

Oosuga Otsuji 大須賀乙字 Osuga Otsuji
(?Seki Osuga), born in Fukushima.

source : www.miraiku.com/

. WKD - Kidai and Kigo 季題と季語 .