Haiku of Kobayashi Issa


Haiku master, Kobayashi Issa, born Kobayashi Nobuyuki (1763 – 1827) was one of the best haiku poets. Issa was wrote over 20,000 haiku poems during this life. He was born in Kashiwabara or currently Shinano town in Nagano Prefecture in Japan. Issa learned haiku when he was 25 from Genmu and Chiku-a. He was known to write haiku based on his unhappy family situation using local dialects and words from daily conversations.

春風や牛に引かれて善光寺
The warm spring wind
and my cow led me to
pay a visit to Zenkoji Temple

我星はどこに旅寝や天の川
In the Summer Evening,
Where is My Star Hidden
in the Milky Way?

蝉鳴くや天にひっつく筑摩川
On a Summer Day,
with Cicadas Chirping,
the Chikuma River Looks as Though
It Flows Up to Heaven.

やれ打つな蝿が手をする足をする
Look, don’t kill that fly!
It is making a prayer to you
by rubbing its hands and feet.

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