Winter haiku poems, Matsuo Basho’s examples

Matsuo Basho's Winter haiku poems

The winter haiku which made by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) are clearly expressed his own viewpoints comparing to other seasons. Between October and December was winter as the old calender.

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Sample (Old Pond haiku poem)



雪と雪 今宵師走の 名月か

Yki to yuki/ Koyoi shiwasu no/ Meigetsu ya


The snow and snow.

This evenining would have

The great moon of December .






こがらしや 頬腫痛む 人の顔

Kogarashi ya/ Hoobare itamu/ Hito no kao


The cold wintry wind.

The throbbing pains of the swelling cheek.

People’s face.






せつかれて 年忘れする 機嫌かな

Setsukarete/ Toshi-wasure suru/ Kigen kana


For Badgered,

I give the year-end party

In a good mood.






いざ行かむ 雪見にころぶ 所まで

Iza yukan/ Yukimi ni korobu/ Tokoro made


Let’s go out

To see the snow view

Where we slip and fall.


埋火や 壁には客の 影法師

Uzumi-bi ya/ Kabe niha kyaku no/ Kageboushi


The banked fire.

The shadow of the guest

Is on the wall.




馬方は 知らじ時雨の 大井川

Umakata ha/ Shirazi shigure no/ Ooi-gawa


The packhorse driver

Wouldn’t know the drizzling winter rain

At Ooi River.




薬飲む さらでも霜の 枕かな

Kusuri nomu/ Sarademo shimo no/ Makura kana


I drink the medicine,

Otherwise lie down

With the pillow on the frost.



市人よ 此笠うらふ 雪の傘

Ichi-bito yo/ Kono kasa urou/ Uilo no kasa


Hey townspeople,

I’ll sell you my woven hat,

The snow umbllera.


水仙や 白き障子の とも移り

Suisen ya/ Shiroki shoji no/ Tomo-utsuri


The narcissus

With the white a shoji screen

Shines together.



煤掃は 己が棚つる 大工かな

Susuhaki ha/ Onoga tana tsuru/ Daiku kana


At the Susuhaki,

Putting up his shelf

The carpenter.


Susuhaki: The cleaning and sweeping the dust and soot at a year-end in old Japanese days.






初雪や  いつ大仏の  柱立

Hatsu-yuki ya/ Itsu daibutsuno/ Hashira-date


The first snow,

When is the pillar set up

For the Great Buddha?


the Great Buddha: The hall of the Great Buddha in Todaiji had been destroyed by the war fire since 1567. So the buddha statue was exposed to the weather.




箱根こす  人も有らし  今朝の雪

Hakone kosu/ Hito mo arurashi/ Kesa no yuki


Some people

Would cross the Hakone Pass

Even though the moning snow.


More Basho’s haiku poems

Other famous Japanese poets

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