Kaisoo Kigo BACKUP

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BACKUP ONLY ... september 2008


Seaweed (kaisoo 海草)

***** Location: Japan, worldwide
***** Season: Non-seasonal Topic
***** Category: Plant


The word "seaweed (kaisoo 海藻)" itself is not a kigo and can be used all year for haiku.

There are however some kigo with individual kinds of seaweed.

Seaweeds are a daily ingredient in Japanese food.


Kigo for SPRING

laver, sea lettuce, nori 海苔
early spring

..... Porphyra tenera

to dry laver, nori hosu 海苔干す
dried laver, hoshinori 干海苔

sweet laver, amanori 甘海苔(あまのり)
laver from Asakusa, Asakusa nori 浅草海苔(あさくさのり)
laver from Kasai, Kasai nori 葛西海苔(かさいのり)

laver sheets to eat, nori hibi 海苔篊(のりひび)

bamboo poles to grow seaweed among, nori soda 海苔粗朶(のりそだ)
floating seaweed, nagarenori 流海苔(ながれのり)
picking up seaweed, hiroi nori拾い海苔(ひろいのり)
board to dry seaweed 海苔砧(のりきぬた)、norisu 海苔簀(のりす)

susabi nori すさび海苔(すさびのり)
Nori from Uppuri Island, uppurui nori 十六島海苔(うっぷるいのり)

boat to harvest laver, noribune 海苔舟

gathering laver, harvesting laver, nori tori 海苔採
harvesting nori seeweeds, nori toru 海苔採る(のりとる)

... ... ...

"rock laver", iwa nori 岩海苔 いわのり
kigo for early spring

..... kaifu nori 海府海苔(かいふのり)
They are picked from the rocks and cliffs by hand when the tide receedes and are quite expensive.

"hair of the sea", ugo 海髪 うご
a kind of red seaweed, igisu
..... ogo おご、ogo nori 江籬(おごのり)、ugo nori うごのり、nagoya なごや

white seaweed (duckweed), shiramo 白藻 しらも
..... tsurushiramo 蔓白藻(つるしらも)、oo ogonori おおおごのり

green seaweed, aonori 青海苔
..... ito aosa いとあおさ、naga aonori 長青海苔(ながあおのり)、sasanori 笹海苔(ささのり)、usuba aonori 薄葉あおのり(うすばあおのり)、hito-e gusa ひとえぐさ

"cherry blossom seaweed" sakuranori 桜海苔 さくらのり
..... mukade nori むかで海苔(むかでのり)、okitsu nori 興津海苔(おきつのり)

"pine seaweed" matsu nori 松海苔 まつのり
..... pine needle seaweed, matsuba nori 松葉海苔(まつばのり)、tenboso てんぼそ

... ... ...

kelp, wakame, 若布, 和布
..... Undaria pinnatifida

nigime にぎめ
boat for harvesting kelp, wakamekaribune 若布刈舟

harvesting wakame seeweeds, wakame karu
若布刈る (わかめかる)
wakame toru 若布採る(わかめとる)

drying seeweeds, wakame hosu 若布干す(わかめほす)

Photo Gabi Greve, 1993

drying seaweed -
these dancing shadows
on the sand

© Gabi Greve, with more photos !


drying hijiki seaweed, hijiki hosu ひじき干す(ひじきほす)
harvesting mirume seaweed, mirume karu みるめ刈る(みるめかる)
harvesting arame seaweed, arame karu 荒布刈る(あらめかる)

Kigo for SUMMER

gathering agar agar, tengusa tori 天草採り

cutting duckweed, mo kari 藻刈り
late summer

dulse seaweed, red algae (Palmaria palmata) ダルス
North America

Kigo for NEW YEAR

gulf weed, seagrapes, sea grape, hondawara ほんだわら

Seaweed Daruma , Konbu Daruma 昆布だるま  

尼崎大覚寺のこんぶ達磨、from Daikaku-ji, Amagasaki  
Kigo for New Year or Spring at Amagasaki

This is a little talisman to ward off evil and bring good business. He is sold at the temple Daikaku-ji in Amagasaki during the Spring Festival. Since the Meiji period every year the temple prepares a little Daruma with a short jacket made from a bleached seaweed (konbu) for people who apply for it.

On the seaweed the name and age of the person and his zodiac animal are written and then this is put up at the Family Shelf of the Gods for daily prayer. The sheet of seaweed is fastened with a belt of an auspicious braided red and white cord (mizuhiki). This Daruma helps to ward off evil and disaster and takes on a cold on your behalf (migawari). He is also called "Daruma who wards off evil" (yakuyoke Daruma 厄よけだるま). When the year is over, you bring him back to the temple for consecration and apply for a new one.

The little Daruma is about 5 cm high and used to be made in Osaka but he is now made in Kyoto and is usually called "Tiny Roly-Poly" (mameagari 豆上がり). His face is painted very simply and his head has a golden dot, therefore he is also called "Gold-headed Daruma" (kinten Daruma 金天だるま).

His existence is also based on a play of words. "To feel happiness" (yoro-kobu) becomes "Yoro-Konbu"; you feel happy about getting better after illness or if your daughter finds a good match.

So the seaweed type called KONBU carries an auspicious meaning and is usually part of a meal at the New Year and other auspicious occasions.
Konbu Daruma, by Gabi Greve

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


ukikusa ya uo sukuutaru ko suge-gasa

rescuing a fish scooped up
with a little sedge hat

Issa (Tr. David Lanoue)


konbu ichijō sawayaka ni gyofu tamoto nashi

ten feet of kelp--
in the freshness, the fisherwoman
has no sleeves

Furutachi Sōjin 古舘曹人


in aquamarine rock-pools
reflections flicker - are gone
seaweed gently swirls

Part of a rengay by
frances ryan
paul t conneally


aonori ya iwa no kubomi no wasure-jio

green seaweeds -
some seawater is forgotten

in a dent of the rock

Takai Kitoo 高井几董(たかいきとう, 1741~1789)
(Tr. Gabi Greve)


Seaweed Haiku by Zhanna P. Rader

She shares with him
her Dulse seaweed - the tint
and the taste of her lips...

Just me in the waves...
swimsuit full
of red seaweeds.

Wading knee-deep -
seaweed wraps
around my legs.

Seaweed Cafe
overlooking the marina -
we're lost in the menu.

Related words

***** Jelly strips (tokoroten)


WASHOKU SAIJIKI : Kaisoo, sea vegetables

Back to the Worldkigo Index


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