Most famous 10 haiku poems in Japanese and English

(Last Updated On: 06/12/2019)

In the 17th century, Haikai poetry which had the theme of fun and humor, entered the realm of literary arts. Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) introduced the spirit of Sabi into the poetry and enhanced it to an art.

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Though there are countless haiku poems, I would show you 10 most famous poems. Please enjoy them!




1.古池や 蛙飛び込む 水の音

Author: Matsuo Basho

[Japanese]

古池や 蛙飛び込む 水の音

Furuike ya/ Kawazu tobikomu/ Mizu no oto

[English]

The old pond

A frog leaps in.

Sound of the water.

*What is the meaning of this frog and pond haiku poem?

2.春の海 ひねもすのたり のたりかな

Author: Yosa Buson

[Japanese]

春の海 ひねもすのたり のたりかな

Haruno-umi Hinemosu-Notari Notarikana

[English]

Spring ocean

Swaying gently

All day long.

Translated by Miura Diane and Miura Seiichiro

3.痩蛙 負けるな一茶 是にあり

Author: Kobayashi Issa

[Japanese]

痩蛙 負けるな一茶 是にあり

Yase gaeru/Makeruna Issa kore ni ari

[English]

Skinny frog,

Don’t get beaten!

Issa is here

4.菜の花や 月は東に 日は西に

Author: Yosa Buson

[Japanese]

菜の花や 月は東に 日は西に

Na-no-hana ya/ Tsuki ha higashi ni/ Hi wa nishi ni

[English]

The canola flowers.

The moon is in the eastern sky.

The sun is in the western sky.

5.閑けさや 岩にしみいる 蝉の声

Author: Matsuo Basho

[Japanese]

閑けさや 岩にしみいる 蝉の声

Shizukesa ya/ Iwa ni shimiiru/ Semi no koe

[English]

Oh, tranquility!

Penetrating the very rock,

A cicada’s voice.

Translated by Helen Craig Mccullough

*The haiku poem at Risshakuji Temple, Yamagata Prefecture.

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6.柿くへば 鐘が鳴るなり 法隆寺

Author: Masaoka Shiki

[Japanese]

柿くへば 鐘が鳴るなり 法隆寺

Kaki kueba/ Kane ga naru nari/ Horyuji

[English]

When I ate a persimmon

The bell rung

The Horyuji temple

 

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7.目には青葉 山ほとゝぎす はつ松魚

Author: Yamaguchi Sodo

[Japanese]

目には青葉 山ほとゝぎす はつ松魚

Me ni wa aoba/Yama hototogisu/Hatsu gatsuo

[English]

The green leaves for eyes

The little cuckoo in the mountain

The first bonito of the season

 
 

8.降る雪や 明治は遠く なりにけり

Author: Nakamura Kusatao

[Japanese]

降る雪や 明治は遠く なりにけり

Furu yuki ya/Meiji wa toku /Nari ni keri

[English]

The snow is falling.

The Meiji era got

Further away.

 
 

9.朝顔に 釣瓶とられて もらひ水

Author: Kaga Chiyome

[Japanese]

朝顔に 釣瓶とられて もらひ水

Asagao ni/Tsurube torare te/Morai mizu

[English]

The well-bucket is

Taken by the morning glory

Going to a neighbour for water.

 
 

10.梅一輪 一輪ほどの 暖かさ

Author: Hattori Ransetsu

[Japanese]

梅一輪 一輪ほどの 暖かさ

Ume ichi rin/Ichi rin hodo no /Atatakasa

[English]

A single plum blossom

It is warm

As a single

 
 









Basho’s haiku poems

The haiku poems of the famous haiku poets

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