Kobayashi Issa’s haiku poems

Kobayashi Issa's haiku poems

Kobayashi Issa was a haiku poet in the Edo period who used dialect and spoken words for haiku. Because he was born in the farmer family, and loved to use the plain and simple words. The representative work is “”The Spring of My Life”.

Other famous Japanese poets


春風や 牛にひかれて 善光寺

Harukaze ya/ Ushi ni hikarete/ Zenkoji


The spring breeze.

Being pulled by a cow

To the Zenkoji temple.


*From the Japanese traditional legend. An old woman who had no faith found herself in Zenkoji while chasing the cow that hung the dried cloth on the horn. As a result, she began to believe Buddhism deeply.

Learn about Buddism temple in Japan




雀の子 そこのけそこのけ お馬が通る

Suzume no ko/ Soko noke soko noke/ Ouma ga touru


The baby spallows,

Make way, make way.

The horse is going to pass along.

The spring haiku poem examples by Japanese famous poets



すず風や 力いっぱい きりぎりす

Suzukaze ya/ Chikara ippai/ Kirigirisu


The cool breeze.

With all his strength

The cricket.

*kirigirisu: In ancient Japan, “kirigirisu” meant today’s cricket. Kirigirisu means katydid now.


涼風の 曲がりくねって  来たりけり

Suzukaze no/ Magari-kunette/ Kitari keri


The cool breeze

Twisted and crooked,

Then came here.


夏山や  一足ずつに  海見ゆる

Natsu-yama ya/ Hitoashi zutsu ni/ Umi miyuru


The summer mountains.

At my every steps,

I could sea more.



やれ打つな はえが手をする 足をする

Yare utsuna/ Hae ga tewo suru/ Ashi wo suru


Don’t hit it.

The fly rub the hands

Or rub the legs.

The summer haiku poem examples by Japanese famous poets


牛の子が 旅に立つなり 秋の雨

Ushi no ko ga/ Tabi ni tatsu nari/ Aki no ame


The baby cow

Goes on a trip.

The autumn rain.





長月の 空色袷 きたりけり

Nagatsuki no/ Sora-iro awase/ Kitari keri


In September

The sky wears

A lined kimono.

*The sky also prepared for the cold weather.


The autumn haiku poem examples by Japanese famous poets


ともかくも あなたまかせの 年の暮れ

Tomo-kakumo/ Anata makase no/ Toshi no kure


At any rate,

I leave entirely up to you

At the the year-end.






椋鳥と 人に呼ばるる 寒さかな

Mukudori to/ Hito ni yobaruru/ Samusa kana


“You are a gray starling”

I called by people.

It is cold.


*In Edo Period, the resident of the capital(Edokko) teased an unpolished man who came from the country as “a gray starling”. Because the bird has the unclear voice and boring color of feather.





うまさうな 雪がふうはり  ふうはりと

Umasouna/ Yuki ga fuwari/ Fuwari to


It looks appetizing.

The snow softly

And gently.




これがまあ 終のすみかか 雪5丈

Kore ga maa/ Tsui no sumika ka/ Yuki gojo


Well, this is

My final abode.

The snow lay 15 meter.



The winter haiku poem examples by Japanese famous poets




Books about Kobayashi Issa


Other famous Japanese poets

1 thought on “Kobayashi Issa’s haiku poems”

  1. Pingback: June 15 – Kobayashi Issa | Literary Birthdays Blog

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.