Humanity and Observances


Humanity and Observances

We have two very important categories in a Japanese saijiki that relate to the human being and its activites during the seasons:

seikatsu 生活 Humanity, daily life, livelihood
gyooji 行事 Observances, seasonal events

I would like to call these the
social season words.

seikatsu haiku 生活俳句 haiku about life

haiku seikatsu 俳句生活 my haiku life

Here are some thoughts about these categories.

To simply define
haiku as "short poems about nature"
senryu as "short poems about humanity"

seems a great simplification and certainly does not seem fit for the Japanese tradition.
That does not mean there are some exceptions, but here I want to talk about the general way a traditional Japanese haiku is perceived.

The saijiki categories of HUMANITY and OBSERVANCES explicitly show us that these things are part of the Japanese haiku tradition and should be respected and understood as such.

Many of the kigo related to them are deeply rooted in the daily life within the Japanese culture and are difficult to translate without a longish explanation, so not many have been listed in English saijiki yet.

I will try and fill this gap, given time ...

But these kigo can give you an example of how to incorporate the events of YOUR daily life outside of Japan in your haiku life and find the many kigo in your area related to food and clothing, festivals and celebrations.
Please share them with us at the World Kigo Database!

Gabi Greve


Nihon Dai Saijiki

ISBN 4-06-128646-3 and 978-406-1289666

Humanity KIGO during the seasons

Click on each season to go to the
detailed LIST of the kigo.

. . . SPRING . . .

. . . SUMMER . . .

. . . AUTUMN . . .

. . . WINTER . . .

. . . NEW YEAR . . .

This covers more than 3000 kigo for humanity.

. . . WASHOKU : FOOD throughout the seasons
a SAIJIKI of its own


Observances, festivals, rituals
KIGO during the seasons

. . . Observances, seasonal events, rituals . . .
throughout the seasons, Buddhist, Shinto and others
a SAIJIKI of its own

Memorial Days of Famous People, Celebrities

That covers more than 3000 kigo for observances.

I hope you see now the importance of the kigo in the categories of humanity and observances.


Join with your own cultural keywords!

. Haiku - Culture Magazine - .

Related words

Senryu and Haiku ー 川柳と俳句

***** WKD : Haiku seasons and categories


1 comment:

anonymous said...

Spring and Humanity :

your entries are always interesting; thanks for sharing,
the kigo boating activities particularely caught my attention, since here in TT we have 'Great Race' and regattas around the same time