Most famous 10 haiku poems in Japanese and English

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


古池や 蛙飛び込む 水の音

Furuike ya/ Kawazu tobikomu/ Mizu no oto


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


春の海 ひねもすのたり のたりかな

Haruno-umi Hinemosu-Notari Notarikana


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


痩蛙 負けるな一茶 是にあり

Yase gaeru/Makeruna Issa kore ni ari


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


菜の花や 月は東に 日は西に

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


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


閑けさや 岩にしみいる 蝉の声

Shizukesa ya/ Iwa ni shimiiru/ Semi no koe


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


柿くへば 鐘が鳴るなり 法隆寺

Kaki kueba/ Kane ga naru nari/ Horyuji


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


目には青葉 山ほとゝぎす はつ松魚

Me ni wa aoba/Yama hototogisu/Hatsu gatsuo


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


降る雪や 明治は遠く なりにけり

Furu yuki ya/Meiji wa toku /Nari ni keri


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


朝顔に 釣瓶とられて もらひ水

Asagao ni/Tsurube torare te/Morai mizu


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


梅一輪 一輪ほどの 暖かさ

Ume ichi rin/Ichi rin hodo no /Atatakasa


A single plum blossom

It is warm

As a single


Basho’s haiku poems

The haiku poems of the famous haiku poets