Woman and Kigo


Woman and KIGO

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Humanity


The word WOMAN, just like that, onna 女 , is not a season word.

nyotai, jotai 女体 female body
(nyotai, also used for the female mask in Noh theator.

But we have a few compound words used as kigo.

Once upon a time in Japan,
men and women shared the same public bath (konyoku 混浴).

山東京伝 Santoo Kyooden (1761 - 1816)


..... SPRING

Women's Day International Women's Day, Mimosa Day (Russia)

Woman divers (ama 海女 (あま)


..... SUMMER

Bamboo Wife (chiku fujin) chiku fujin ちくふじん 竹婦人 ) take fujin
"bamboo husband" chiku fujin 竹夫人(ちくふじん)


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rice-planting woman, saotome 早乙女 さおとめ
..... sootome そうとめ、ueme 植女(うえめ)
"woman of May", satsuki me 五月女(さつきめ)
ie sotome 家早乙女(いえそうとめ)
uchi sotome 内早乙女(うちそうとめ)

home with a rice-planting woman,
saotome yado 早乙女宿(さおとめやど)

Great Day of a rice-planting Woman,
Lunar May 5

The months of Januaray, May and September (正、五、九) were seen as not auspicious and people had to be careful. These months have their own "Purification Day".
In some areas, no marriage ceremonies were held in these months.

The fifth month according to the Asian Lunar Calendar was the month of rice-planting and the planting women (saotome) had to do their job. For this work the young women of a farmers family were seen as sacred "shrine maiden" miko, and received a special blessing. This was done on the fifth day of the fifth month, the Great Day of Woman. This co-incided with the rainy season (July in our modern calendar) and it often rained on this day. During the rice planting season, saotome women had to refrain from sexual pleasures.

. saotome to densetsu 早乙女と伝説
Legends about women planting rice .

. Satsuki Purification Day, satsuki imi 五月忌 (さつきいみ)  
Absention, abstinence in Satsuki
amezutsumi 雨づつみ(あめづつみ)
nagamei mi 霖雨斎み(ながめいみ)

"home of a rice-planting woman", onna no ie 女の家(おんなのいえ)
onna tenka no hi 女天下の日(おんなてんかのひ) "day of the women"

Satsuki is the name for the fifth month of the lunar calendar.
Now 6 Jun – 6 Jul.


..... AUTUMN

Harvest Moon for Women, onna meigetsu 女名月

Moon and its KIGO


..... NEW YEAR

Woman wellwisher for the New Year
onna reija 女礼者 (おんなれいじゃ)

Woman Visitor for the New Year, onna gakyaku
... onna rei 女礼(おんなれい)

Woman are usually busy during the first three days of the New Year, when the men are out visiting and women have to prepare food for them. Women can only go visit relatives and friends on the fourth of January and could expand the time until the Doll's Festival in March.
In some areas this visit of woman is called Onna Shoogatsu:

New Year for the Woman, Onna Shoogatsu
..... me shogatsu 女正月(めしょうがつ)


Promotion Day for Court Ladies
ooroku 女王禄 (おうろく)

... ooroku o tamou 女王禄を賜う(おうろくをたもう)
The Chinese character for WOMAN 女 is not pronounced in these words.

Ladies Court Promotion,, nyo joi 女叙位 (にょじょい)
onna joi 女叙位(おんなじょい)
Court ritual on the day after the White Horse
The Court promotions for men where announced on January 7, (ao uma no sechi e, Day of the White Horse).

Kizoku no Onna

WKD - Saijiki for Japanese Festivals and Ceremonies


Setsubun for Women, onna setsubun

Purification ceremony for women only

Yoshida Kiyo Harae 吉田清祓 (よしだきよはらえ)
Yoshida Ooharai 吉田大祓(よしだおおはらい)

Setsubun 節分 Setsubun Festival (February 3)


..... TOPIC

. Blind women from Echigo. Echigo goze 越後女盲

Women's slope (onna-zaka). Slope for men (otoko-zaka) Japan

. Wife, my dear beloved (wagimoko 吾妹子)

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

WKD : Women Haiku Poets of Japan

"Heart of a Woman" Onna gokoro 女心
Flower-Heart (hana gokoro)


Category: Women In Japan - vocabulary list
Geisha World
Note Many of the customs and practices in the geisha world have their own terminology that only insiders comprehend, incomprehensible to most Japanese.

Shirabyoshi (Jpn, lit = white rhythm) Song and dance performance characterized by a strongly marked rhythm and the term also referred to the dancer/prostitutes who practiced it, 12th cent.

Hari (Jpn) Attitude or style, used of the Yoshiwara courtesans of the 17th cent.

Sui (Jpn) Ideal of chic or sophistication Kyoto and Osaka, 17th cent.

1.Tayu (Jpn) Highest rank of courtesan in Kyoto, 17th-early18th cent.
Iki (Jpn) Chic, style or cool, originated among the geisha of Edo period.

1.Oiran (Jpn) Highest rank courtesan in Edo, from 18th cent.
2.Kawaramono (Jpn, lit = riverbed folk) Underclass in Edo period, primarily popular entertainers including musicians, jesters, actors and courtesans, who performed in dry riverbeds.
Ageya (Jpn) House of assignation, where patrons made appointments with courtesans in the pleasure quarters, precursor of the geisha teahouse.

Asobi (Jpn, lit = play) Time spent with geisha, courtesans, or other entertainers.

Cha-tate onna (Jpn, lit = tea-brewing woman) Precursors of the geisha.

Jiutmai (Jpn) Form of classical Japanese dance practiced by geisha, particularly the geisha of Gion, linked to the dance forms of the Noh theater.

Ukiyo (Jpn, lit = floating world) Buddhist term “the transience of all things” adopted to refer to the world of courtesans.
1.Keisei(Jpn, = castle topplers) Courtesans of legendary beauty.
2.Koshi (Jpn) Second rank courtesan.
Sancha (Jpn) Teahouse waitresses-cum-courtesans in old Japan.

Ukiyo-e (Jpn, lit = painting of the floating world) Woodblock print of the courtesans of the pleasure quarters.

Kamuro (Jpn) Child attendant of a courtesan.
Oka basho (Jpn, lit = hill places) Unlicensed teahouse and brothel areas in old Japan.

Okiya (Jpn, = geisha house) Lodging house for the maiko and geiko during their nenki; also the establishment where geisha are affiliated in order to be registered in their communities.

1.Necki (Jpn) Maiko/geiko’s period of service in the okiya.
2.Shikomi san (Jpn) First stage in a okiya before a girl becomes a minarai-san when she performs domestic duties while living in the okiya and attending school.
1.Shikomi (Jpn, = in training) Young indentured servant.
2.Tamago (Jpn, lit = egg) Used to refer to shikomi, the first stage of maiko training.
3.Minarai-san (Jpn) Apprentice maiko, who learns the ways of the hanamachi by living together with a maiko and geiko in an okiya and going to school there.
1.Minarai (Jpn, = learning by observation) Early stage of geisha training before becoming a maiko.
1.Omisedashi (Jpn) Ceremony where a minarai-san become a maiko.
1.Sansan-kudo (Jpn, lit = “thrice three, nine times” exchange) Ritual exchange of sake in a wedding ceremony or sisterhood ceremony at which a new maiko is joined with her onesan in sisterhood of geishas.
2.Onesan (Jpn, = elder sister) Role a geiko takes to pass on her experience to maiko and younger geiko.
2.Mizuage (Jpn, = raising or offering up the waters) Sexual initiation ceremony that marked the process of becoming geisha (geiko). Term originally meant unloading a ship’s cargo or catch of fish and later income from an entertainment business, but in this context, a euphemism for the maiko’s defloration. A change of neckband signified a loss of virginity. If she had a danna, it was he who deflowered her, if not the task fell to a mizuage-danna. Up to WW II, thereafter sexual matters became the business of the geisha alone.
1.Danna (Jpn, = husband or master) Patron of a geiko or geisha by giving financial assistance. Can also mean customer.
2.Mizuage-danna (Erikae-dana) (Jpn) Man of distinction well known in the hanamachi and trusted by the okasan to treat an inexperienced girl considerately.
3.Erikae (Jpn, = changing the collar) Ceremony at which a maiko become a geiko when the en is changed from the red of the maiko to white.
1.En Neck band.
2.Erikae o suru (Jpn, lit = to turn one’s collar) Sartorial expression that marks the transition from maiko to geisha.

Rokkagai (Jpn) “Six geisha communities” of Kyoto.
1.Ponto-cho Hanamachi in Kyoto.
1.Suimeikai (Jpn) Dance put on every March by Ponto-cho.
2.Gion-Kobu Hanamachi in Kyoto.
1.Miyako odor (Jpn) Cherry dance, the most famous and popular of the dances performed by the maiko and geiko in Gion-Kobu.
2.Shimai (Jpn) Style of noh dance in Gion-Kobu that is performed in plain clothes and without masks that usually typify the genre.
3.Gion-Higashi Hanamachi in Kyoto.
4.Miyagawa-cho Hanamachi in Kyoto.
5.Kamishichiken Hanamachi in Kyoto.
6.Shimabara District in Kyoto.

- - - MORE
source : www.eurekaencyclopedia.com

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 and the ladies of the night .


Man and Woman, otoko to onna 男と女

CLICK for more female male actors

In Kabuki, men play the female roles and learn how to express female feelings through very precise and ritualistic gestures.

onnagata 女形 female actors

Yoshizawa Ayame I (初代 吉沢 菖蒲)
(1673-15 July 1729)

an early Kabuki actor, and the most celebrated onnagata (specialist in female roles) of his time. His thoughts on acting, and on onnagata acting in particular, are recorded in Ayamegusa (菖蒲草, "The Words of Ayame"), one section of the famous treatise on Kabuki acting, Yakusha Rongo (役者論語, "The Actors' Analects").

A.C. Scott wrote that "Yoshizawa Ayame I was regarded as the greatest onnagata or female impersonator of his time and was an artist of ability, who developed the unique technique which was to be a model for the actors of the future. His ideas and secrets were written down in a book called 'Ayamegusa', which was afterwards regarded as the Bible of the female impersonator."
is famous for advocating that onnagata behave as women in all their interactions, both onstage and off. In Ayamegusa, he is quoted as saying that
"if [an actor] does not live his normal life as if he was a woman, it will not be possible for him to be called a skillful onnagata."
Following his own advice, Ayame cultivated his femininity throughout his offstage life, and was often treated as a woman by his fellow actors. His mentor, Arashi San'emon, and others are said to have praised him on many occasions for his devotion to his art.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

- quote -
Yoshizawa Gonshichi / Yoshizawa Kikunojô
Other name: Tachibanaya Gonshichi
Guild: Tachibanaya
The Yoshizawa Ayame line of actors:
- Read more about his life and work :
- source : www.kabuki21.com -

. Kabuki Theater in Japan 歌舞伎 .

. Bando Tamasaburo 坂東玉三郎 . - (1950 - )

. nanshoku、danshoku 男色 homosexuality .
Yamashita Kinsaku II 山下金作 - Nakamura Handayû


niji ni shasu tsuma yori hoka ni onna shirazu

thanks to the rainbow
apart from my wife I do not know
other women

Nakamura Kusatao 中村草田男


mado no yuki nyotai nite yu o afure-shimu

outside the window is snow -
my female body brings the bath water
to overflow

Katsura Nobuko
Read more translations


otoko ni arite onna ni aranu fuyu higure

men have it
women do not have it -
winter sunset

Hirai Shobin 平井照敏
(Hirai Shoobin, 1931 - 2003)

This haiku makes fun of the spelling for otoko 男 おとこ and
onna 女 おんな, using hiragana and the letter を (wo) instead of お o.


otoko rashisa ya onna rashisa yori mo ningen rashiku

like a real man
or like a real woman ... better
like a real human being

CLICK for original LINK

© てれ助さん

Related words

***** Doll Festival (hina matsuri) Japan Peach Festival, Girl's Festival





Anonymous said...

kogoto iu aite mo araba kyoo no tsuki

if only she were here
for me to nag...
tonight's moon!

by Issa, 1823

This haiku refers (fondly) to Issa's wife, Kiku, who died in 1823. It has the prescript, "My fault-finding old wife passed away this year."
In an earlier translation, I rendered kogoto iu aite as "my nagging companion," but Shinji Ogawa explains that, grammatically, it is Issa, not Kiku, who nagged. This doesn't necessarily contradict Issa's prescript. Shinji notes, "my nagging old wife" is a typical public statement of humility...Issa was, I believe, a typical Japanese husband who completely dominated his wife."
In light of Shinji's clarification, I owe an apology to Lewis Mackenzie and Sam Hamill. In my essay, "Translating Translations: A Disturbing Trend," I made the claim that Mackenzie and Hamill mistranslated this haiku when they depicted Issa, not his wife, as the grumbler. We translators live in glass houses; it was plain stupid of me to chuck a rock! Modern Haiku 31, No. 2 (Summer 2000): 53-58.

(Tr. David Lanoue)

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

saotome ya kami no i o kumu futari-zure

rice-planting women -
two of them draw water
from the sacred well

. Iida Dakotsu 飯田蛇笏 .

sacred well

Gabi Greve said...

ta no kami matsuri 田の神祭り Tanokami festivals and rituals
for the God of the Rice Fields and for 山の神祭り Yamanokami

. saotome 早乙女 rice-planting woman .
They make offerings to Tanokami and wear auspicious blue and white robes before going into the fields for planting.

Gabi Greve said...

kamuro 禿(かぶろ / かむろ) child attendant of a courtesan