FAMOUS HAIKU POEMS BY SHIRAO

Ganjitsu ya taijyu no moto no hito gokoro

"The First Day of the Year;

Under the protection of a big tree,

People's hearts are at rest."

*Taijyu means a big tree, alias the Shogunate


Manzai no otogai nagaki ashita kana

"The long chin performer!

It is New Year's Day!"


Fue kiite mutsuki nakaba no tsukiyo kana

"The sound of a flute,

On a moonlit night of mid-January."


Susu chiru ya haya kisaragi no daidokoro

"Already in February!

Scattered soot In my kitchen."


Rousoku no niou hina no amayo kana

"A rainy night

Of the Doll's Festival;

Only the smell of candles."

*The Doll's Festival is an annual event for girls held on March 3, when people wish little girls will be happy and grow healthily.


Harukaze ya hai makichirasu sakuotoko

"The spring wind;

A hire hand

Is scattering ash."


Furusato ya ume ni yanagi ni hanashi ari

"My hometown;

I feel like talking

To ume and willow trees."

*ume=Japanese apricot tree


Hito koishi hitoboshi koro wo sakura chiru

"Yearning fills my heart

When the candles are lit;

Cherry blossom fall."


Cho tobu ya araiagetaru nagashimoto

"A butterfly

Is floating

Above the cleaned up sink."


Ikanobori sora mite mono wa omowazaru

"Watching a kite

up in the sky,

I think of nothing."


Shoubuyu ya shoubu yorikuru chi no atari

"Calamus bath water:

Leaves of the calamus coming

Close to my nipple."

*Japanese would often take a bath with leaves of a calamus floated on bath water on May 5, the day of the Boy's Festival, so as to exercise a kind of exorcism.


Nakeba naku futatsu no yama no kankodori

"One cuckoo sings,

Then responds another

Between the two mountains."


Oto nashite tatami e ochiru tsubaki kana

"Making a sound,

The camellia fell

On the tatami mat."


Hototogisu naku ya yoake no umi ga naru

"A little cuckoo cries;

The sea is roaring

as the day breaks."


Sono kuraki yo wo shizuka naru botan kana

"In the dark garden

Of the night,

The peony remains quiet."


Yuku aki no kusa ni nakururu nagare kana

"Among the grasses

Of passing autumn,

the stream hides itself."


Ochiru hi ni kao sae utoki kakashi kana

"To the setting sun

The scarecrow's face

Is indifferent."

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