Harvest and its Kigo


Harvest Time

***** Location: Worldwide
***** Season: various, see below
***** Category: Humanity


Harvest time is usually in autumn and as kigo, we have many specific words relating to the various crops.

There are also many Harvest Thanksgiving Festivals. In Japan, most of the Autumn Festivals are also a kind of Thanksgiving Ceremonies for the rice harvest.

At many large temples and shrines in Japan,
priests pray during the New Year celebrations that the four seasons will come in due time and order, without any harm to their sequence and
with the hope to give a good harvest and thus life to the people.

Let us look at some related kigo now.

Like all kigo,
they are embedded in the flow of things, the changes of the seasons ...

We remember a thing or event of the past,
honor it today with a poem and
hope for it to be "alive" in the future of mankind

... in the endless flow of time, the timeless flow of things ...
(whatever you tend to call it).


hoonen 豊年 (ほうねん) bountiful harvest
toyo no aki 豊の秋(とよのあき )bountiful autumn
deki aki 出来秋(できあき)fruits of autumn
豊作(ほうさく)abundant harvest, bumper crop
kigo for mid-autumn

kyosaku 凶作 (きょうさく) poor harvest, poor crop
. . . fusaku 不作(ふさく)
kanbatsuden 旱魃田(かんばつでん) dry fields
kigo for late autumn

Fruit Harvest (Romania)

Grapes and Grape Harvest, Vendanges Europa

Harvest Thanksgiving (Christian communities) Harvest Festival, Erntedankfest, shuukaku kanshasai 収穫感謝祭

Harvest Moon, North America

Worldwide use


kigo for autumn

Village maiden
the moon gets ready
harvest dance

Asahi Haikuist Network, October 31, 2008

Junge Dorffräulein.
Der Mond putzt sich heraus
für den Erntetanz.

Beate Conrad



Sankranti or Pongal - the harvest festival on January 14th

INDIA Saijiki : Winter



Official Harvest Festival, niiname no matsuri 新嘗祭
kigo for early winter

..... niiname sai, shinjoosai,
..... shinjoo-e 新嘗会

Great Harvest Ceremony, oonie matsuri 大嘗祭
..... daijoosai. Daijosai ritual

Celebration of the first-fruits festival.
Festival of the First Tasting of the New Rice.

This festival is preformed by the emperor if Japan every year, now on November 23, a National Holiday.
This day is also called "Labour Thanksgiving Day" kinroo kansha no hi 勤労感謝の日.

Daijoosai 大嘗祭 is the enthronement ceremony, followed by the first Thanksgiving Ceremony of the new emperor.

Click HERE to look at some photos !

A ceremony of state accompanying a new emperor's accession to the throne, the Daijō sai has been considered since ancient times one of the most important among the various rites associated with accession. Also called the Daijōe and the Senso daijō sai, the ceremony had its origin in the niinaesai harvest festivals that existed prior to the Taika reforms (i.e., prior to the mid-seventh century) and became systematically established during the process of state unification.

After the accession of a new emperor, new rice harvested from designated sacred rice fields (cultivated by local growers) lying to the "auspicious east" (yuki) and "auspicious west" (suki) of the capital (as identified through plastromantic divination) was carried to the capital on the festival day (under the old system, the second "day of the rabbit") of the eleventh lunar month. This rice was brought into the Daijō palace (a temporary structure specially built for and razed after the ceremony) where the emperor, who had undergone a period of self-purification through the practice of various abstinences (saikai), would personally make an offering (shinsen) of sacred rice to the kami and then partake of it himself. The rites would be followed by a large banquet.

Under the old system, the Daijō sai was designated the "preeminent festival" (taishi), and was accompanied by one month of purifying prohibitions. There are a number of theories as to which deity was the object of worship (saijin) in the ceremony. Many believe that originally the only deity originally worshipped was the emperor's ancestor, Amaterasu. However, it seems that later the entire pantheon of kami (tenjinchigi) were included in the worship.

The ritual content of the ceremony varies from one period to another. Although the Daijō sai died out during the warring states period, it was revived in the Edo period. Its modern form was fixed by the 1909 Tōkyoku Prescriptions. The first Daijō sai under the current constitution, performed by the Heisei Emperor in 1990, took those prescriptions as its basic referent.
source : Takamori Akinori, Kokugakuin

. WKD : saiden 斎田 ritual Shrine paddy .
shinden 神田 "divine rice field"

te o dasu to yu ga deshi kinroo kansha no hi

when I stretch out my hand
there is hot water from the faucet -
Labor Thanksgiving Day

Tooge Matoko 峠素子



Nairobi International Trade Fair
The Nairobi churches hold their annual Harvest Thanksgiving Services on the Sunday before.



Honey Harvest, honey spas

Saijiki for Europa


North America

Corn shucking, corn husking USA
at the harvest festival

Things found on the way


harvest time -
the meager meal of
a diabetic

Gabi Greve, September 2006

smiling kids
with wooden food bowls -
harvest thanksgiving !

Gabi Greve, November 2005
Look at some photos from our local school festival

harvest time -
he bends his head
in prayer

Click for more information !

Gabi Greve, September 2009


Rice Harvest : Three one-line haiku
Quoted from the World Haiku Review  

drinking in the valley air rice fields ready for harvest

maturing rice fields red tiger lilies crouch on the bank

smack dab in the field an extended family of scarecrows

carmen sterba, yokohama, jp


Ernte, Erntedank, Erntedankfest

Reich ist die Ernte.
Getreidestaub füllt die Luft.
Der Duft macht hungrig.

copyright by Gerdanken


Die Sommerhitze
Verbrennt das Korn - des Bauern
Ernte fast dahin.


Related words

***** . Autumn Festival (aki matsuri) Japan

***** Worldkigo Database: Pounding rice (mochi tsuki)

***** Thanksgiving Day, USA


Check the WKD LIST of



Anonymous said...

harvest time-
an apple in hand
she talks about sin

Ana Cadarin


apple harvest . . .
the tips of the branches
let go of the light

Francine Banwarth


Quoted from
The Shiki Monthly Kukai, September 2006


Ella Wagemakers said...

harvest time
a child gets lost
in the cornfield

harvest time
cows shuffle back
before nightfall

harvest time
his fifth trip to
the moneylender