Chiyo-Ni 千代尼
(1703-1775) 1703 - 2 October 1775
1703年(元禄16年) - 1775年10月2日(安永4年9月8日)

Kaga no Chiyo Jo 加賀千代女
Kaga no Chiyo-Ni 加賀千代(尼)/(かがのちよ(に)

Kaga no Chiyo 加賀千代 "Chiyo from Kaga"
JO 女 means "woman", often added to the name of a haiku poetess.
NI 尼 means "nun", taken on when entering a Buddhist monastery.
KAGA is the placename, from where she came.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !


kigo for mid-august

Chiyoni Ki 千代尼忌 Chiyoni Memorial Day
Soen Ki 素園忌(そえんき)

October 2

. Memorial Days of Famous Poeple .

One of her haikai teachers was

. Kagami Shikoo 各務支考 Kagami Shiko .


CLICK for more photos !
'Chiyoni - Woman Haiku Master'
Patricia Donegan

WOODCUT by Utagawa KuniyoshiChiyoni was a Japanese poet of the Edo period, widely regarded as one of the greatest female haiku poets.

Born in Matto, Kaga Province (now Ishikawa Prefecture) as a daughter of a picture framer, she began writing haiku poetry aged 7. At age 12, she was introduced to the poetry of Matsuo Bashō, and by the age of 17, she had become very popular all over Japan for her poetry.

She married in 1720 into the family of Fukuoka 福岡某 in Kanazawa, but her husband died in 1722, so she returned to her own family.

Her poems, although mostly dealing with nature, work for a unity of nature with humanity. Her own life was that of the haikai poets who made their lives and the world they lived in one with themselves.

Chiyo-ni's teachers were the students of Basho, and she stayed true to his style, although she did develop on her own as an independent figure. Today, the morning glory is chosen as a recommended flower to people in Matto 松任市 (まつとうし) (now Hakusan), Ishikawa because she left a number of poems about the flower.

Temple Shoko-Ji (Shookooji 聖興寺) in Hakusan is a house displaying her personal effects.
. . . CLICK here for Photos of the temple !

She is perhaps best known for her poem "Morning Glory"

A morning glory.
Twined round the bucket:
I will ask my neighbor for water.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. WASHOKU : 加賀料理
The Cuisine of Kaga (Ishikawa prefecture)


Two ayu trout (sweetfish) 落鮎自画賛
signed CHIYO 千代女(加賀の千代尼) ちよじょ(かがのちよに)


With more detailed photos
source : www.nagaragawagarou.com

ochiayu ya hi ni hi ni mizu no osoroshiki

descending trout -
day by day the water
becomes more dreadful

Tr. Gabi Greve

ochi-ayu, the trout or sweetfish after spawning, when they go back downstream.

dying sweetfish -- day by day the river harsher
A sweetfish tastes good and its shape is beautiful. Especially when a young sweetfish is swimming up the river, it looks splendid. But after its spawning season at the end of autumn, the sweetfish has no energy left and just lets itself float on the river. The river becomes harsher day by day.
source : haikukan.city.hakusan.ishikawa.jp

tsurizao no ito ni sawaru ya natsu no tsuki

it touches the line
of my fishing pole -
this summer moon


Chiyojo was born in Matto, Kaga, or Hakusan city as it is called today, in 1703, and has been well-known for this haiku:

CLICK for original LINK ... wafusozai.com

朝顔に 釣瓶とられて 貰い水
asagao ni tsurube torarete morai mizu

the morning glory
took the well-bucket away from me -

I go to the neighbour for water


the morning glory
beat me to it ...
I go to the neighbour to fetch water

Tr. Gabi Greve

Chiyo-Jo Haiku Museum
57-1 Tonomachi, Hakusan, Ishikawa 924-0885

Chiyo-Jo Haiku Museum : Monthly Kukai

morning glory !
the well-bucket entangled
I ask for water

(Tr. Donegan and Ishibashi)

translating : 取られて torarete ...
from the verb : torareru …

to have something stolen, to be dumbfolded …

the morning glory got the better of me
(I got up too late this morning)

the morning glory took it away from me
“ippon torareta” 一本取られた ?
to beat; to gain a point; to upset

There is no cut marker after the first line.

Does the Japanese really say "entangled" ?
THF : Discussion of the translation ...

my well bucket
taken by the morning glory—
this borrowed water

Tr. Ueda Makoto

. . . . .

朝顔は 蜘 (くも) のいとにも さきにけり
asagao wa kumo no ito ni mo saki ni keri

More ENGLISH reference


A sweet called "Morning Glory", in memory of Chiyo-Ni, the famous poet.
A sweet for July

Morning-Glory (asagao)


CLICK for original LINK

fukuwara ya gomi sae kesa no utsukushiki

new auspicious straw -
this morning even the dirt
looks beautiful

New Year Kigo fukuwara


tomokaku mo kaze ni makasete kare-obana

leave it to the wind -
withered pampas grass


it is at the mercy of the wind -
withered pampas grass

CLICK for more photos

Pampas grass (susuki 芒 (すすき), obana)


the shimmering haze
the wet stone

(trans. Donegan)

When a friend posted this at a forum, I wondered

Has Chiyo-Ni written in a kind of "gendai" modern style,
long/short/long, without a cut marker ??

Then I got the Japanese romaji for it
(I am still trying to locate the kanji, if you know them, please let me know)

kageroo ya
hoshite wa nururu
ishi no ue

Now this is a haiku in 5 7 5, with the cut marker YA at the end of line 1.

heat shimmers . . .
now dry and now wet
above a stone
/ above stones / above the stone
Tr. Gabi Greve

The first line also reminds us of

Kagero Nikki 『蜻蛉日記』 『陽炎日記』(かげろうにっき)
The Gossamer Years
a classical piece of Japanese literature from the Heian period

This haiku has a lot of cultural background, from the sound of KAGEROO to the "ISHI NO UE".

WKD : Heat shimmers (kageroo)

かげろう【蜉蝣】 KAGEROO
WKD a mayfly; a day-fly; an ephemera (kageroo)

Ishi no ue san nen 石の上三年
Meditating on a stone for three years


the moon's shadow
also pauses -
cherry blossom dawn

Tr. Patricia Donegan and Yoshi Ishibashi

Again we must ask:
Has Chiyo-Ni written a poem in the form long/short/long with a cut marker at the end of line 2 ?

tsukikage mo tatazumu hana no asaborake

The Japanese is 5 7 5 and there is no cut marker.

tsukikage 月影 - 月の形。月の姿。月
moonlight, the moon itself

the moon
also pauses among the (cherry) blossoms
at dawn

. . . .

There is also this version online

tsukikage mo
tatazumu ya hana no

Now the Japanese is 5 8 5 and
the cut marker YA is in the middle of line 2.

the moon's shadow
too, pauses - cherry
blossom dawn

source : Michael Haldane


nan to naki mono no isami ya hototogisu

lies within the listener---
a cuckoo’s call

Tr. Patricia Donegan


lark, skylark poems

soaring skylark - - -
what do you think
of the limitless sky

Tr. Donegan
















source : haiku/chiyojo103.html


miagari ni hitori nezame no yosamu kana

- quote from krisl.hubpages.com
Being a Buddhist nun in those days did not mean living in a monastery or nunnery. Soen/Chiyo-ni continued her simple life of writing and friendship. Another of her friends was a fellow nun, Kasenjo, who had been a prostitute in her youth. This isn't as strange as it sounds, as Japanese culture considered prostitutes socially marginal but not shameful or sinful, so they fairly often became nuns in their later years. Maybe Chiyo-ni was thinking of things Kasenjo had told her when she wrote:

on her day off
the prostitute wakes up alone
the night's chill

One prostitute who used to live in Matto, took a rest by paying for her day off to her owner. However, when she went to sleep by herself, she felt the loneliness of the autumn night when she woke up in the middle of the night alone.
source : haikukan.city

miagari ni hitori nezame no yosamu kana

her body-debt paid,
she wakes up alone –
ah, the cold of night

Tr. Michael Haldane

on her free day
she wakes up alone
in a cold night . . .

The haiku is one sentence and has the kireji KANA at the end of line 3.


meigetsu ni kaerite hanasu koto wa nashi

moon-viewing --
after coming home nothing to say

source : haikukan.city.hakusan

meigetsu ya yuki fumiwakete ishi no oto

this harvest moon -
as I part the snow by stepping on it
(I hear) the sound of stones

Imagine her walking outside with her wooden getas on, making a sound on the stepping stones in a garden or walk up to a temple.

yuki fumiwakete - translated by googeling like this:
I plow through heavy snow, I would make my way through snow, I would plod through snow, treading through heavy snow, I would plod through snowdrifts


Her Death Poem, Farwell Poem (jisei 辞世(じせい)
September 8, 1775

tsuki mo mite ware wa kono yo o kashiku kana

I have even seen the moon -
now I can say good bye
to this world

Temple Shokoji 聖興寺 (Shookooji)


. Chiyojo on facebook - with discussions .
James Karkoski and Chris Drake

Tsukubaute kumo o ukagau kawazu kana

Akebono no wakare wa motanu Hiina kana

Yūgao ya Onago no hada no miyuru toki

Asagao ya Tsurube torarete morai mizu

Yuki no yo ya Hitori tsurube no otsuru oto

Waniguchi no mono ii kanuru samusa kana

Oshi wa mata hitori nagare ka hatsushigure


Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets 

. Ama 尼 Buddhist Nun .

- #lchiyoni #chiyojo -


the greenleaf said...

A selection of haiku


spring rain---
all things on earth
become beautiful

floating away, despite
the butterfly’s weight on it

a dandelion
now and then interrupting
the butterfly’s dream

moonlit night---
out on the stone
a cricket singing

lies within the listener---
a cuckoo’s call

The passing year --
irritating things
are also flowing water.

cool clear water
and fireflies that vanish
that is all there is...

moon flowers!
when a woman’s skin
is revealed

fragrance of the orchid -
even to the grass
far away

on her day off
the prostitute wakes up alone
the night's chill

morning glory -
the truth is
the flower hates people

stars' meeting
which one
speaks first

over the flowing water
chasing its shadow -
the dragonfly

I wonder in what fields today
He chases dragonflies in play
My little boy who ran away

Chasing dragon flies
Today what place is it
he has strayed off to?

green leaves or fallen leaves
become one---
in the flowering snow

each sound of
the temple bell is different
in the wind

one must bend
in the floating world -
snow on the bamboo

at my snow-white reflection
in the water

tea flowers---
their blooming
delays the dusk

offering daffodils---
my eyes can't tell
which are flowers, which is snow

leaves like bird shadows
the winter moon

mistaking birds
for leaves--- lonely
a winters moon

on moor and mountain
nothing stirs
this morn of snow

it’s play for the cranes
flying up to the clouds
the year’s first sunrise

anonymous said...

Hugh Bygott Cambridge England:

I was indeed privileged to visit Mattô and the Chiyo Jo Museum.

Chiyo-ni was greatly admired during her lifetime and Kihaku, Bashô’s disciple, first published a collection of her hokku, Chiyo-ni Kushu. A further volume was published during her lifetime. Even though she was frail and ill at that time, Buson asked her to write the foreword to his collection of XVII and XVIII century women poets, Tamamoshu, 1774.

I do not know of any English translation of this work nor of the modern definitive edition of her work, Kaga no chiyo zenshû. Tamamoshu included hokku by Sono-jo, Sute-jo, Shushiki-jo and Chigetsu-ni.

Fortunately there is a French text of Chiyo-ni’s poetry and
contemporary women poets with French translations of the romaji. This is Kaga no Tchiyo - Jo: Une poetesse Japonaise au XVIII siecle.
Gilberte Hla-Dorge, G.P.Maisonneuve, Paris, 1936. Of course, English language readers
have the Donegan/Ishibashi translations.


anonymous said...

Chiyo-Ni is one of my favorite poets, Gabi san, She ranks up there with with her contemporary, Basho.
And Gabi, it's refreshing to have you translate this haiku.
There are some who translate Basho's haiku using Japanese English dictionaries, therefore,
butchering Basho's haiku. Translating poetry from centuries ago is a true art form and more.
Robert D. Wilson

translating haiku said...

Woo~ Gabi san,
This is terrible haiku.
I felt as I became the sweet fish who is afraid of approaching death.
Thank you for sharing.

anonymous said...

One Haiku About the Moon
by Robin D. Gill

uramachi no ibiki akarushi kyo no tsuki —Chiyo

back streets' snoring
and today's full moon
bright, bright

Snores as bright
as the backstreets tonight:
What a moon!

In poor-town
they snore so cheerfully:
Tonight, the full moon.

In moonlight
how peaceful the snores
of poor folk

The full moon:
Tonight one can almost
see the snoring

This moonlight:
Even the snores of the poor
please the ear!

No matter how this poem is translated .....

tsuki tenshin mazushiki machi o toorikeri
—Buson (d.1783)

the full moon
overhead, i pass through
a poor town.

MORE in Simply Haiku 2005

facebook said...

fragrance of bindweed
on my palms the whole night –
thinking of Chiyo-jo

Djurdja Vukelic-Rozic

Anonymous said...

Looking at the moon
now I can fare well this world -
God be with ye

Kris said...

Thanks for this!

I'll return to the site.

I just posted something on Chiyo-ni myself, based only on Jane Reichold's site and reviews of Donegan's book. I'll revise it with a few details from here.


It doesn't add much new material, but I think it puts things together in a new way.

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

渋かろか 知らねど柿の 初ちぎり
shibukaro ka shiranedo kaki no hatsu chigiri

are they bitter?
I do not know, but - well,
the first take of a persimmon

Discussion :

Gabi Greve - Buson said...

Yosa Buson

tsuki tenshin mazushiki machi o toorikeri

Buson and his moon haiku

Gabi Greve said...

Fukuda Chiyo-ni (Kaga no Chiyo) (福田 千代尼)


"Kaga no Chiyo, considered one of the foremost women haiku poets, began writing at the age of seven. She studied under two haiku masters who had themselves apprenticed with the great poet, Basho.... In 1755, Chiyo became a Buddhist nun -- not, she said, in order to renounce the world, but as a way 'to teach her heart to be like the clear water which flows night and day.'" (Jane Hirshfield)
In regard to the first poem here, called "Oh, Morning Glory!", Hirshfield quotes D. T. Suzuki:

"The idea is this: One summer morning Chiyo the poetess got up early wishing to draw water from the well...She found the bucket entwined by the blooming morning glory vine. She was so struck...that she forgot all about her business and stood before it thoroughly absorbed in contemplation. The only words she could utter were 'Oh, the morning glory!' At the time, the poetess was not conscious of herself or of the morning glory as standing against [outside] her. Her mind was filled with the flower, the whole world turned into the flower, she was the flower itself...

"The first line, 'Oh morning glory!' does not contain anything intellectual...it is the feeling, pure and simple, and we may interpret it in any way we like. The following two lines, however, determine the nature and depth of what was in the mind of the poetess: when she tells us about going to the neighbor for water we know that she just left the morning glory as she found it...she does not even dare touch the flower, much less pluck it, for in her inmost consciousness there is the feeling that she is perfectly one with reality.

"When beauty is expressed in terms of Buddhism, it is a form of self- enjoyment of the suchness of things. Flowers are flowers, mountains are mountains, I sit here, you stand there, and the world goes on from eternity to eternity, this is the suchness of things."

HAIKU by Kaga no Chiyo

The morning glory!
It has taken the well bucket,
I must seek elsewhere for water.