Best 10 love haiku poetry collections by famous Japanese poets

From “Anthology of Poems: The Love Section” ukiyo-e art prints by Kitagawa Utamaro

Most of the themes of Japanese haiku are about nature or everyday life, but there are excellent poems of love from Edo period to the present day. The following haiku poems are the outstanding works in Japan.

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Ochi Etsujin (1656-?)


うらやまし  思ひ切る時  猫の恋

Urayamashi/ Omoi-kiru toki/ Neko no koi


It’s enviable.

They are so graceful,

When cats cross in love. 

*It seems like a haiku stalled in love, but apparently it is a poem about lost love. It represents a man’s lingering mind…

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Takahama Kyoshi (1874-1959)


虹立ちて 忽ち君の 在る如し

Nizi tachite/ Tachimachi kimi no/ Aru gotoshi


The rainbow stands

As if you are here

In a moment.

*The feeling when the rainbow appears nearby, it resembles what the lover comes up.

Read more Takahama Kyoshi’s haiku poems.

Sugita Hisajo (1890-1946)


枯野路に 影かさなりて わかれけり

Karenoji ni/ Kage kasanarite/ Wakare keri


On the path in the desolate field,

The shadows overlapped

And parted.

*It is a haiku poem of almost like a a scene out of movies.

Read more Sugita Hisajo’s haiku poem

Hashimoto Takako (1899-1963)


雪はげし 抱かれて息の つまりしこと

Yuki hageshi/ Dakarete iki no/ Tsumarishi koto


Snowing violently,

I was hugged

And choked.

*The word of “violently” modifies not only “snows” but also haggued. 

Mitsuhashi Takajo (1899-1972)


鞦韆は 漕ぐべし愛は 奪うべし

Shusen ha/ Kogubeshi ai ha/ Ubau beshi


You should swing a swing

While you should steal love

From other.

*shusen: The old Japanese word means for a swing. The Current poeple use “buranko”(ブランコ). In haiku, a swing is in the spring of the season words.

Suzuki Masajo(1906-2003)


死なうかと 囁かれしは 蛍の夜

Shinouka to/ Sasayakareshi ha/ Hotaru no yo


“Shall we die?”

You wispered to me

At the night of firefly.

*Firefly evoke us thought of an ephemeral life.



Katsura Nobuko (1914-2004)


ゆるやかに 着て人と逢ふ 蛍の夜

Yuruyaka ni/ Kite hito to au/ Hotaru no yo


Wearing cloth loosely,

I meet a man

At the night of firefly.

*The way of loose wearing kimono meant trust a man.

Takayanagi Shigenobu (1923-1983)


きみ嫁けり 遠き一つの 訃に似たり

Kimi yukeri/ Tooki hitotsu no/ Fu ni nitari


You married.

It’s like a death note

From far away.


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Mayuzumi Madoka (1962-)


会ひたくて 逢ひたくて踏む 薄氷

Aitakute/ Aitakute fumu/ Usugouri


I want to see

And to meet you

Stepping on the thin ice.

*”会ひ” and “逢う” are in same pronounced and a similar meaning. Furthermore, it is so excellent that the later “逢” means men and women ‘s tryst.

Otaka Sho (1977-)


逢ふことも 過失のひとつ 薄暑光

Aukotomo/ Kashitsu no hitotsu/ Hakusho-kou


An encounter is

One of the misstep.

The sunshine at the beginning of the summer.

*Encounter, misstep, stronger sunshine. These are unavoidable to lift up the lovers’ enthusiasm.

Read also the love lyric poems of “Tanka”


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Best 10 love lyrics of Tanka poetry by famous Japanese poets
Classic 5-7-5-7-7 Tanka love lyrics in Japanese and English  By Kitagawa Utamaro Though the poetry dealing with various themes, Tanka poems of romance is especially popular. Because in any age, the feelings of love for others are the sam…

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