Collecting Kigo


rokugatsu ya
kigo shuushuu mo
ame no naka

t'is June !
collecting kigo
all in the rain


Tensaku by Susumu Takiguchi, WHCjapan

This is a haiku which makes one smile. All the more so if the reader is living in Japan and knows tsuyu (Japan's rainy season), especially that of this year. England is suffering from severe shortage of rain and hosepipe ban is imposed. On the other hand, it is no laughing matter where people are killed and properties destroyed by floods.

Perhaps only those who know what the author is doing will really understand what she means by 'kigo shuushuu'. Most Japanese living in Japan are likely to be puzzled by the phrase because probably few of them would 'collect' kigo unless they are helping editors of a saijiki, or even they are beginning to get bored to 'collect' other things such as antique items or Elvis memorabilia. So, 'editing' would be a better choice of word.

The shimo-go (the last 5) would in English mean that the act of collecting kigo is actually done outside, whether or not the author is being rained on and getting wet or even drenched to the skin, or sheltered under an umbrella or someone else's eaves or a big tree. This is of course if the author's house is not leaking and letting the rain pour down on her sitting at her computer, rather a Basho-like figure (Singing in the Rain???). Her house, as far as I recall, is solid and completely sealed like an Englishman's castle. However, that was before she experienced violent storms, one of the heaviest snow falls and this year's tsuyu. In Japanese, the expression would pose less problem as Japanese is less 'accurate', 'specific' or 'fussy', i.e. it is more versatile, flexible and richer.
So, my TENSAKU would be:

rokugatsu ya
kigo henshuu mo (or, just no)
ame no hibi



WHC Japan

Thanks, Susumu sensei!

I think indeed I collect kigo as I collect antiques and Daruma san!


. World Kigo Database .


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