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'Unseasonable' label not necessarily a bad thing, after all

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"Kigo" is a word or expression used in haiku in association with a particular season, but it is not always easy to tell the season it represents.

"Shika" (deer), for instance, is a traditional kigo for autumn because of the plaintive tone of mating calls made by bucks at that time of year.

A haiku by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) goes to the effect, "Poignant are the deer's long grunts at night." The poem seems to even evoke the chill of autumn winds as well.

I learned recently that "minishimu" is also an autumn kigo. Denoting a deep feeling that is almost physical, this expression can apply to any season. In fact, it........

© The Asahi Shimbun