July 8, 2023

Haiku Highlights: “Awakening of Insects and Rousing a Child,” by 青木かよ子

Today, let’s go through a haiku written by Yumi’s mother, 青木(あおき)かよ()!  Here it is:





The awakening of insects | cutting word

sleep | not enough

child | (direct object marker) | to awaken

[More Natural]

The awakening of insects,

Waking up a child

Who hasn't had enough sleep.


So, combining these, the haiku connects the “waking up” of insects in spring (the season) to (attempting) to wake a sleeping young child who hasn’t slept enough.

If you are a parent, I think you can understand the meaning of this haiku very well.

This haiku came to her when working in the garden in early March. While digging she uncovered a slumbering frog. So, her original meaning for this poem was rousing the frog from its winter sleep too early, when it still needed more sleep.

However, haiku can mean different things to different people. What does this haiku mean to you?

What is the difference between () and ()?

Both () and () mean “child” but () is the most common kanji for “child.” () is used mainly in formal or legal contexts. It is often seen in compounds and legal terminology, such as in 児童(じどう) (meaning "children" or "juvenile"). In daily conversation, "()" is much more frequently used.

Here, Yumi’s mother not only chose () for a slightly more formal or poetic feel, but because that kanji is used with 乳児(にゅうじ) (infant; suckling baby) and she wanted the image of a small child to come to mind.


Do you enjoy learning Japanese through haiku? Haiku is a great way to experience Japanese culture while also learning fun words.

If you are a Makoto+ Shogun or Lifetime member, you have access to about a hundred haiku lessons like today's.

If you aren't a member, please click here to learn more. If you are a Samurai member and would like to upgrade for instant access to all that Makoto+ has to offer, please click here.

Sharing is caring!

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Level up your Japanese!


For Total Beginners

Japanese for beginners - Beri-Beri Shoshinsha

This 15-book study guide + worksheets bundle is ON SALE. For just one-time payment only, you will get this bundle for a very low price plus you will get future contents for free (no additional charge).

Easy to follow and understand

This bundle is perfect for absolute beginners. It's thorough without being wordy, giving you exactly enough information to understand the concepts without overloading you with information. 

TheJapanShop.com Customer

Makoto+ Membership

You'll notice many TheJapanesePage.com lessons have bonus content for Makoto+ Members. Well, membership goes well beyond that. Members also get our monthly magazine for learners of Japanese (Beginners to Intermediates), weekly exclusive lessons, Podcast bonus content, and much more.