From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

A saijiki (歳時記, lit. "year-time chronicle") is a list of kigo (seasonal terms) used in haiku and related forms of poetry. An entry in a saijiki usually includes a description of the kigo itself, as well as a list of similar or related words, and some examples of haiku that include that kigo.[1] A kiyose (季寄せ) is similar, but does not contain sample poems. Modern saijiki and kiyose are divided into the four seasons and New Year, with some containing a further section for seasonless (無季, muki) topics. Each seasonal section is further divided into a standard set of categories, each containing a list of relevant kigo. The most common categories are:

  • The season
  • The heavens
  • The earth
  • Humanity
  • Observances
  • Animals
  • Plants

Japanese seasons[edit]

In the Japanese calendar, seasons traditionally followed the lunisolar calendar with the solstices and equinoxes at the middle of a season. The traditional Japanese seasons are:

  • Spring: 4 February–5 May
  • Summer: 6 May–7 August
  • Autumn: 8 August–6 November
  • Winter: 7 November–3 February

In categorising kigo, a saijiki or kiyose divides each season into early, middle, and late periods, as follows:[2]

  • Early spring: 4 February–5 March
  • Mid-spring: 6 March–4 April
  • Late spring: 5 April–5 May
  • Early summer: 6 May–5 June
  • Mid-summer: 6 June–6 July
  • Late summer: 7 July–7 August
  • Early autumn: 8 August–7 September
  • Mid-autumn: 8 September–7 October
  • Late autumn: 8 October–6 November
  • Early winter: 7 November–6 December
  • Mid-winter: 7 December–4 January
  • Late winter: 5 January–3 February

Examples of saijiki and kiyose[edit]


  • The Five Hundred Essential Japanese Season Words, selected by Kenkichi Yamamoto, on Renku Home
  • William J. Higginson, ed. Haiku world: an international poetry almanac. Kodansha, 1996. ISBN 978-4-7700-2090-1
  • The Japanese Haiku Topical Dictionary at the University of Virginia Japanese Text Initiative
  • World Kigo Database, worldwide saijiki


  • Masaoka Shiki, ed. Kiyose. 1930 (Japanese: 正岡子規 編『季寄せ』(三省堂、1930))
  • Kyoshi Takahama, ed. A New Saijiki, 1934 (Japanese: 高浜虚子 編『新歳時記』(三省堂、1934))
  • Teiko Inahata, ed. The New Hototogisu Saijiki, 1996 (Japanese: 稲畑汀子 編『ホトトギス 新歳時記』(三省堂、1996)& CD版(1998))


  1. ^ Gill, Robin D. The Fifth Season—Poems to Re-Create the World: In Praise of Olde Haiku: New Year Ku; Books 1 & 2, Paraverse Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0-9742618-9-8, p.18
  2. ^ Higginson, William J. Kiyose (Seasonword Guide), From Here Press, 2005, p.24

External links[edit]

See also[edit]