Best 8 short haiku poems about death and rip by famous poets

Death is one of the most serious events in life, none that can escape. That is why the great haiku poets expressed their whole view of the world on the theme of death with 17 characters. There are concrete and abstract haiku poems, but you will learn the person or Japanese view of death.

In addition, there was a custom of composing rip haiku or tanka poems just before Japanese people died.

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)


数ならぬ  身となおもひそ  玉祭り

Kazu nara nu/ Mi tona omoi so/ Tama matsuri


Don’t think

Yourself nobody

Ceremony for the spirit

*When he heard the death of lover Juteini


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Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828)


露の世は  露の世ながら  さりながら

Tsuyu no yo wa/ Tsuyu no yo nagara/ Sari nagara



The dewdrop world

Is the dewdrop world 

Yet it is


*When he faced his daughter’s death


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Murakami Kijo (1865-1938)


冬蜂の  死にどころなく  歩きけり

Fuyu bachi no/ Shini dokoro naku/ Aruki keri



Winter bee

Walked losing

The place of death

Natsume Soseki (1867-1916)


ある程の  菊抛げ入れよ  棺の中

Aru hodo no/ Kiku nage ire yo/ Kan no naka



Throw all flower

Of chrysanthemum

Into the coffin


*When he heard the death of secret lover

Kato Shuson (1905-1993)


死や霜の  六尺の土  あれば足る

Shi ya shimo no/ Rokushau no tsuchi/ Are ba taru



For death

A frost on the ground

Six feet is enough

Nakamura Sonoko (1913-2001)


春の日や  あの世この世と  馬車を駆り

Haru no hi ya/ Ano yo kono yo to/ Basha wo kari



Spring days

Driving a carriage

This and the other world


*When she lost her husband

Ueda Gosengoku (1933-1997)


万緑や  死は一弾を  以て足る

Banryoku ya/ Shi ha ichidan wo/ Motte taru



Myriad green leaves

Single bullet is

Enough for death

Ueda Gosengoku (1933-1997)


長き夜の  苦しみを解き  給ひしや

Nagaki yo no/ Kurushimi wo toki/ Tamai shi ya



Free from

The long nights

Of the suffering


*After her husband’s fight against disease