Fly, Flies (hae)


Fly, flies (hae)

***** Location: Japan, worldwide
***** Season: All Summer and see below
***** Category: Animal


kigo for all summer

house flies, iebae 家蝿、家蠅、いえばえ、ハエ
may-fly, sabae 五月蝿 さばえ
meat-fly, nikubae 肉蠅

black fly, kurobae 黒蠅 くろばえ
golden fly, kinbae 金蠅
silver fly, ginbae 銀蠅

horse fly, umabae 馬蠅
cow fly, ushibae 牛蠅

paper to catch flies .. haetorigami > Fly-swatter


kigo for all spring

haru no hae 春の蠅 (はるのはえ) fly in spring
Fliege im Fruehling


kigo for late spring

hae umaru 蠅生る はえうまる flies are born
..... hae no ko 蠅の子(はえのこ) "fly children"
fly babies, young flies


kigo for all autumn

aki no hae 秋の蠅 (あきのはえ) flies in autumn
nokoru hae 残る蠅(のこるはえ)remaining flies
okure hae 後れ蠅(おくれはえ) late flies


kigo for all winter

fly in winter 冬の蠅 (ふゆのはえ) fuyu no hae
kanbae 寒蠅(かんばえ)fly in the cold
itebae 凍蠅(いてばえ) freezing fly


True flies are insects of the order Diptera
(from the Greek di = two, and ptera = wings). They possess a pair of wings on the mesothorax and a pair of halteres, derived from the hind wings, on the metathorax. Apart from secondarily flightless insects (including some flies), the only other order of insects with any form of halteres are the Strepsiptera, and theirs are on the mesothorax, with the flight wings on the metathorax.

source : Wikipedia

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


rusu ni suru zo koi shite asobe io no hae

while I'm away
enjoy the lovemaking
hut's flies

Translated by David Lanoue

Issa was off to a trip.
Did Issa suspect of Kiku's adultery during his long absence?

Larry comments on this:

Well, Issa seems to have loved Kiku, or at least was very fond of her. And since it's hard to keep secrets in small towns, I imagine the same would hold true in Kashiwabara.

According to Lewis Mackenzie, in the introduction to his book of Issa translations, "The Autumn Wind:"

"Early in 1814 he married Kiku, a farmer's daughter from the neighboring hamlet of Akagawa, whose family were distantly related to his mother's. Kiku was a rosy, good-humoured lass of twenty-eight whose like is to be seen about the countryside to this day [mid-1950's], dressed in the baggy blue and white trousers tight at the ankles (monpe), light-colored kerchief and scarlet braids that still form their daily costume.
. . .

"Whatever were Kiku's feelings about her elderly husband, it is clear from the number and nature of references to her in both journals and poems that she inspired him with deep affection. This is often expressed humorously, but as well as her own wholesome rustic charm she had the merit for him of being the first woman, since his mother, to give him the daily sympathy and steady companionship that can crown relations between the sexes after ardour has had its day.
. . .

"Some of the letters survive which Issa wrote to Kiku during his absences from home. They salute her with respect and speak of his solicitude for her health and regret for the tedium to which he had left her."

Mackenzie goes on to mention that Issa's diary entry for the day he married Kiku is disappointing to biographers and students:

"For instance, his marriage in April, 1814 is chronicled thus:

11th April--Fair--wife came, Tokuzaemon ['go-between' for the wedding] stayed"

However, Mackenzie goes on to say:

"On the other hand, a great number of verses at this time are playful conceits about the name Kiku, and even the diary records his joy and anxiety when she told him that she was with child.

[O Kiku no sandara-boshi ya kesa no yuki]

The Chrysanthemum
In her round straw hat--
This morning's snow."
. . .

"Kiku fell ill after the birth of another son. She had a long period of illness made more painful by arthritis and died in the spring of 1823. Issa had hurried to her bedside when her illness began and tended her with all his deeply bought experience of sickness. Perhaps it was because his love and sorrow were so deep that he wrote little about her death but mourned her even with a gentle smile.

[Kogoto iu aite mo araba kyo no tsuki]

The moon tonight!
If only she were here
To hear my grumbles."

Recent surveys have claimed that as many as 40% of married women admit to having had at least one affair. So it's your call. I think it would be amusing though to see a shunga haiga dealing with flies, perhaps with a lonely wife in the background watching them and yearning for her absent husband.

Larry Bole
Translating Haiku Forum

........................ Other versions

Now we are leaving,
the houseflies can make love
to their heart's content.

Sam Hamill  

I'm going out now,
So enjoy yourselves making love,
Flies of my hut!

Blyth ("A History of Haiku," Vol. One, third printing 1968, p.382)
MORE : Translating Haiku Forum

I'm going out,
flies, so relax,
make love. 

Tr. Hass  


やれ打つな はえが手をする 足をする
yare utsu na hae ga te o suri ashi o suru

don't swat the fly!
wringing hands
wringing feet

Tr. Lanoue

. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .

Related words

***** Fly-swatter

***** Gadfly (abu)

***** Mosquitoes (ka)




Gabi Greve said...

katame nite/mi-sadamen to su/haru no hae

spring fly...
I make sure I'm seeing it
with one eye

Masaoka Shiki

Quoted from:
Sojo Hino (1901-1956)
Translated and commented by Susumu Takiguchi  


Anonymous said...

swatting a fly
and a blooming

hae uchi ni hana saku kusa mo utare keri


by Issa, 1816

Tr. David Lanoue

Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

soojoo no atama no ue ya hae tsurumu

on top of
the bishop's head
flies mating

Tr. Chris Drake

about priests . . .

Gabi Greve said...

高澤良一 Takazawa Ryoichi

arayotto hae no Isshin Tasuke kana

splish splash
Isshin Taske is squatting
a fly . . .
all about Isshin Tasuke, the fish monger of Edo