Japanese Haiku – A Snail Climbing Mt. Fuji

I love Japanese haikus!  Here’s a haiku poem I came across while working on a song about Mt. Fuji. The poem was written by Kobayashi Issa in the Edo periodhiroshige snail




English Translation:

O snail,

Climb Mt. Fuji,

But slowly, slowly!



Soro soro nobore

Fuji no yama
I think these prints by Utagawa Hiroshige go nicely with the haiku.

Please email me if you would like to recite this poem for us in Japanese.

-Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Monday, March 24th, 2014 at 12:47 pm and is filed under Arts and Crafts, Countries & Cultures, Haiku, Japan, Japanese, Japanese Poems, Languages, Poetry. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Responses to “Japanese Haiku – A Snail Climbing Mt. Fuji”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Here are two more Haiku by Issa sent to us by Sadao:


    Sokonoke sokonoke
    Oumaga to_oru.

    (Little sparrows please go away,
    because the horse is coming through!)


    Yare utsuna
    Haega tewo suru
    ashiwo suru.

    English Translation (by Lisa):

    Do not swat the fly
    It prays with its hands
    It prays with its feet.

    Sadao wrote, “Sometimes Issa talks about ‘consideration on the life of the weak (people, animals or insects)’. “

  2. Lisa Says:

    Sadao sent these haikus too:

    In my elementary school I memorized a haiku by Kaga-no-Chiyo-jo:

    Tsurube torarete

    (Meanings: I couldn’t draw up water from the well, because the vine of a morning glory got twisted on the bucket/or rope. I wanted the flowers to stay, and asked water next door.)

    Asagao-ni (By Asagao, morning glory)
    Tsurube (well bucket and rope) torarete (tackled)
    Moraimizu (Moraimizu is a noun that means to get the water from someone.)

    Thanks for sharing that Sadao!

    Mama Lisa

  3. Lisa Says:

    Sadao wrote:

    Hi Lisa,

    I found another translation of Issa’s Haiku, “Suzumenoko” (mentioned in the comments above)

    雀の子 そこのけ そこのけ お馬が通る


    Sparrow’s child
    out of the way, out of the way!
    the stallion’s coming through

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