Cloud, clouds (kumo)

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Cloud, clouds (kumo)

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


Clouds in the Sky !
Clouds floating like dragons, dark clouds hanging over us .... they come in many variations !

The words CLOUD, CLOUDS just like that are topics, not kigo.
But some cloud formations are kigo, see below.

Otherwise, add the season word to make it a kigo, for example
summer clouds, autumn clouds ...

Click on all the photos to see the BIG clouds !

cloudy 曇り kumori (... gumori) refers to an overcast sky, giving a feeling of undecidedness and unpleasentness.

There are many types of clouds
© More in the WIKIPEDIA - List_of_cloud_types !


There are many poetic expressions for variuos types of clouds, not all of them are used as kigo.

CLICK for more photos
cotton clouds, watagumo 綿雲


"herringbone clouds"

Lens-shaped cloud near Mt. Fuji - June 20, 2012

A rare lens-shaped cloud has appeared near Mount Fuji after a strong typhoon swept through Japan.
The cloud, called tsurushi-gumo, or hanging cloud,
was seen on Wednesday morning.
The phenomenon occurs when winds around Mount Fuji become strong, or after tropical storms. But experts say such clouds rarely appear at this time of the year.
source : NHK world news


Lenticular clouds (Altocumulus lenticularis)

are stationary lens-shaped clouds that form at high altitudes, normally in perpendicular alignment to the wind direction. Lenticular clouds can be separated into altocumulus standing lenticularis (ACSL), stratocumulus standing lenticular (SCSL), and cirrocumulus standing lenticular (CCSL).
Due to their shape, they have been offered as an explanation for some Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) sightings.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

lenticular cloud
its fill
of the sunset

- Shared by John Byrne - Ireland, February 2013 -
Haiku Culture Magazine, 2013


after the rain -
clouds chasing clouds
in the autumn sky

For those not so familiar with the Japanese symbolism I am referring to, try substitute
"thoughts" for "clouds" and
"mind" for "sky" .

the head in the clouds, den Kopf in den Wolken ...
you all know the allusions to the clouds in many cultures !

Clouds after the Rain
Haiku Album Leaf by Gabi Greve, September 2006



spring clouds, haru no kumo 春の雲 (はるのくも)
harugumo 春雲(はるぐも)

shunin, shun-in 春陰 (しゅんいん ) cloudy weather in spring
lit. "spring shadow"



summer clouds, natsu no kumo 夏の雲 (なつのくも)
natsugumo 夏雲(なつぐも)

billowing clouds, peaks of clouds, mushrooming clouds
雲の峰 kumo no mine

cloud peaks, minegumo 峰雲

CLICK for many more PHOTOS !
"monk clouds", "clouds entering the Buddhist way", large columns of clouds
nyuudoogumo 入道雲
. nyuudoo : clouds, priests and goblins .  

These clouds look like huge white mountains shining in the sky. They are formed when the earth is very hot, thus creating rising hot air currents.
They are cumulonimbus clouds, sekiran un 積乱雲 or very large cumulus clouds, yuudai sekiun 雄大積雲.

Thunderstorm clouds, rai un 雷雲(らいうん)

Clouds for an evening shower, yuudachi gumo 夕立雲(ゆうだちぐも)

CLICK for more photos !
anvil clouds, kanatoko gumo 金床雲 , 鉄鈷雲

"Clouds over Bando Taro" 坂東太郎(ばんどうたろう)
Bando Taro (bandoo taroo) is an old name for the Tone river, which flows through Edo/Tokyo.

Some areas of Japan, where the billowing summer clouds are most popular as haiku themes, have their own kigo with the addition of TAROO to represent the clouds. Taroo is usually the name of the first son of a family.

"Taro Clouds above Tamba" , Tanba Taroo 丹波太郎(たんばたろう)
The old Tamba Province (Tanba 丹波国 )

"Taro Clouds above Higo", Higo taroo 比古太郎(ひこたろう)
The old Higo Province (肥後国)

"Taro Clouds above Shinano" , Shinano taroo 信濃太郎(しなのたろう)
The old Shinano Province (信濃国)

"Taro Clouds above Iwami", Iwami taroo 石見太郎(いわみたろう)
The old Iwami Province (石見国)

CLICK for more photos !
"Taro Clouds above Mount Adachi", Adachi taroo 安達太郎(あだちたろう)


kigo for early summer

. uzukigumori 卯月曇 (うづきぐもり)
cloudy on the deutzia blossoms


kigo for mid-summer

tsuyugumori 梅雨曇 つゆぐもり
cloudy in the rainy season

tsurigumori ついり曇(ついりぐもり)
tsuyugumo 梅雨雲(つゆぐも) clouds in the rainy season

cloudy 曇り kumori (... gumori) refers to an overcast sky, giving a feeling of undecidedness and unpleasentness.


kigo for late summer

unkai 雲海 (うんかい) sea of clouds

asagumori 朝曇 (あさぐもり) overcast morning
The cloudy hot summer mornings are especially hard to endure.



autumn clouds, aki no kumo 秋の雲 (あきのくも)
shuu un, shuu-un 秋雲(しゅううん)

akigumori 秋曇 (あきぐもり) cloudy in autumn
..... shunin, shin-in 秋陰(しゅういん)

Mackerel Clouds, Sardine Clouds
(saba-gumo 鯖雲, iwashi-gumo 鰯雲, "fish scale clouds", uroko-gumo 鱗雲)



winter clouds, fuyu no kumo 冬の雲 (ふゆのくも)
fuyugumo 冬雲(ふゆぐも)

"cold clouds", kanun, kan-un 寒雲(かんうん)
"freezing clouds", itegumo 凍雲(いてぐも)
"ghastly clouds" sei-un,, sei un 凄雲(せいうん)

"Butterfly clouds", choochoo gumo 蝶々雲(ちょうちょうぐも)

CLICK for more photos !
"bamboo hat clouds" around the top of Mt. Fuji,
Fuji no kasagumo 富士の笠雲(ふじのかさぐも)

Worldwide use


Wolken, Schäfchenwolken (clouds like sheep)

Things found on the way

. Yakumo 八雲 "eight clouds" in Japanese legend .
The first waka by Susano-O

Koizumi Yakumo 小泉八雲 Lafcardio Hearn .


Boven de wolken (Above the Clouds)
Derde haikoe-boek by Bart Mesotten.
Uitgeverij Pelckmans: Flanders, 2003.
ISBN:90 289

Worte für die Wolken. (words for the clouds)
Haiku-Jahrbuch 2005.
Haiku und Haiku-Prosa:
Eine Auswahl aus dem Jahre 2005.


Cloud Poetry


くもおりおり ひとをやすめる つきみかな
kumo oriori hito o yasumeru tsukimi kana

Matsuo Basho

clouds now and then
give us a rest:


Glorious the moon
therefore our thanks, dark clouds
come to rest our necks.

Peter Beilenson

clouds -
a chance to dodge

Lucien Stryke

Discussing the various translations of this haiku
Translating Haiku Forum, September 2008

Clouds Sometimes
Clouds sometimes people wo rest moon-look kana
David Coomler


kono aki wa nande toshiyoru kumo ni tori

this autumn
why am I aging so?
to the clouds, a bird

Tr. Makoto Ueda

Read more translations of this famous haiku, written shortly before his death.

. Birds and Clouds .. Kumo ni Tori .. 雲に鳥 .


Issa and KUMO NO MINE clouds

kumo no mine mikoshi mikoshite Aso kemuri

peaks of clouds--
looking down, down...
Mount Aso's smoke

Haiga by Nakamura Sakuo

kumo no mine no shita kara detaru kobune kana

emerging under
the peaks of clouds...
a little boat

shibaruku wa makura no ue ya kumo no mine

for the moment
straight above my pillow...
peaks of clouds

Tr. David Lanoue
Billowing Clouds haiku by ISSA


white mushrooming clouds
over the green bamboo –
autumn sunset in action

Look at more of my Cloud Haiku and Photos:

Clouds in my Valley 谷に雲

Clouds after the Rain Chinese Ink Painting, July 2005 中国の墨絵

Clouds at Lake Tomada 雲と池の早春 2005

the universe -
my heart floating
on autumn clouds

Koan and Haiku

© Gabi Greve


Clouds in India

whiff of clouds
in my morning tea ~
Himalayan summer

Himalayan valley ~
another mountain grows
autumn clouds ~

Narayanan Raghunathan
Himalaya. The India Saijiki.


sweaty palms holding-
spools of strings,
reach out for clouds

wandering clouds-
chase soaring kites,
on wings of breeze

Dr. Vidur Jyoti
Kite flying. The India Saijiki.


a streak of orange
through the valley of clouds--
seat-belt fastened

at the coulds' edge
below the plane

a mass of cloud
floating below the plane:
my son's balloon

a cloud-eagle
curves to the haze
in the west

Dhanbad, India


Dragon Clouds and Haiku

the clouds tonight,
a dragon
breathing snow

robert wilson


Dragons play whirlwind
among the clouds meet and rain
unite earth and sky



the dragon -
now a cloud
in my sky


billowing clouds -
the dragon within
is taking shape

August 2012

Gabi Greve

Dragon Clouds and Haiku


thunder-filled clouds -
over the bridge come
jingling-jangling horses

Cyril Childs


watching summer clouds
thoughts shaping and

je regarde les nuages d'été
pensées qui prennent forme
et changent

Gabi Greve, quoted at Tempslibres


The Sea of Clouds ... Unkai 雲海

雲海の 朝を迎えて 生きておる
unkai no asa o mukaete ikite oru

being alive -
with the sea of clouds
in my morning

Look at more photos of this morning !


sea of clouds -
a morning to welcome
special guests

Do not miss to look at these haiku and photos :

Morning Walk with Sea of Clouds

Sea of Clouds in Autumn

Gabi Greve


Grijze golven,
een schip aan de horizon,
grijze wolken.

Grey waves,
a ship on the horizon,
grey clouds.

© Frans J.P.M. Kwaad

..... ..... ..... ..... .....

kijk, die olifant
langzaam wordt hij twee hondjes
wolken in de wind

ook, that elephant
changing into two dogs!
clouds in the wind

© Marianne Kiauta (Netherlands)



Den Wind im Rücken
rudern bizarre Wolken
über das Luftmeer

© Haiku von Ernst Ferstl

Look at the photo to go with this haiku


From WHCmultimedia Friends, some Haiga


Cats Feet Clouds


Sandy "Kitsune Miko"


Comment on the Cat Feet Clouds:
I am always fascinated by those cat-feet clouds that come over the mountains in the evening.
More often they slink on their bellies over the mountains and down through the canyons, and then dissipate. You have to realize that the Pacific Ocean is on the other side of that low mountain range, and it's the mountains that stop the marine fog and keep us warm and sunny. On the other side, the coast is socked in more often than not.

Also, that range of mountains is on the far side of the San Andreas fault. That's how near to it we are. Supposedly the northward movement of the Pacific plate is bringing Los Angeles to us at the rate of 1/4 inch a year.

Linda Papanicolaou

Look at Linda's CLOUD Album



Doris Kasson



Carol Raisfeld



Shanna from Hawaii



Haiga from Natalia L. Rudychev

© April 2006


floating bridges -
searching moorings,
in arms of horizon.

Dr. Vidur Jyoti, India, 2006


a rainy night -
even without sandals
the clouds jog

Rita "eastern sparrow", 2006


kumo no mine ikutsu kuzurete tsuki no yama

cloud peaks,
how many have crumbled away:
moon mountain

trans. David Barnhill

At Mount Gassan (tsuki no yama 月山)
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

ari no michi kumo no mine yori tsuzuki keri

the ants' road
from peaks of clouds
to here

Issa, trans. David Lanoue

ho no ooki orandasen ya kumo no mine

A Dutch ship
With many sails:
The billowing clouds.

Shiki, trans. Blyth

Discussing these three haiku !


at midnight
the cloud over my village
shaped like a horse

- Shared by Amrao Gill -
Joys of Japan, July 2012

Related words

***** Fog, Mist, Haze and more

***** World Kigo Database: Typhoon, Hurricane

***** World Kigo Database: Monsoon

source : s3trophies.com/trophy/



Anonymous said...

cloud passes --
sunshine advances
along the path

Isabelle Prondzynski
29 April 2006

Gabi san -- beautiful page!
And so much enjoyment in store with the new "haiku topics" -- great idea!

Gabi Greve said...

It looks like you have stumbled upon clouds peak, a traditional and concrete online haiku journal.
You can expect some great haiku to be showcased at clouds peak.

clouds peak .... Dustin Neal  


Gabi Greve said...

haru no kumo/nagamete oreba/ugoki keri

spring clouds...
as I am watching them,
they've moved

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


Anonymous said...

piano shaped cloud
whenever I think of you
I hear Mozart

Billie Dee


Anonymous said...

the peaks of clouds
behind one blade of grass

kumo no mine kusa ippon ni kakure keri


by Issa, 1812

An interesting experiment with perspective.

Tr. David Lanoue / http://cat.xula.edu/issa/

Anonymous said...

on a cloud
I daydream about
the earth

from my book Sorrows of the Chameleon, copyright 2007

and a new one --

autumn clouds ...
the last streaks of sun
on the grass

:>) Ella Wagemakers

Anonymous said...

雲の情景 -Cloudscape Fukuoka-
Photos by Junichi Kai

Gillena Cox said...

January ending
under a cloud filled sky
children masquerade

much love

Anonymous said...

billowing clouds--
have the pine trees
shrunk a bit?

kumo no mine isasaka matsu ga shirizoku ka


by Issa, 1803

Literally, Issa wonders if the pines have "retreated" (shirizoku): they look smaller below the massive "peaks of clouds" (kumo no mine).

Tr. David Lanoue

Anonymous said...

chisai no wa kado ni hoshisa yo kumo no mine

I'd like that little one
for my gate...
billowing clouds

Kobayashi Issa
(Tr. David Lanoue)

Anonymous said...

ookumo ya mine to natte mo zuri-aruku

big cloud--
though with lofty peaks
it creeps along

Kobayashi Issa

Shinji Ogawa notes that zuri-aruku means, "to creep along." He isn't sure about the meaning of this haiku. It may means: "the grown-up cloud still creeps along like an infant."
(Tr. David Lanoue)

Gabi Greve / Kenya Saijiki said...

cloud shapes - from Kenya

Shiki Kukai September 2012

Anonymous said...

This is awesome!


Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

inaba kara shutsugen shita ka kumo no mine

cloud mountain,
did you appear
from the rice plants?

This hokku is from the middle of the 5th month (late June or early July) of 1814, the month after Issa married his wife Kiku in his hometown. Cloud peaks or mountains were and are a common figure for the cumulus clouds that often appear and expand upward very rapidly on hot summer afternoons. Though there are probably clouds on the horizon, the mountainous cloud in this hokku seems to have appeared nearby rather suddenly and surprised Issa, and the word for "appear" in his question, shutsugen, is an old term used primarily to refer to the sudden appearance or manifestation in the visible world of a buddha, god, or spirit. The dynamically expanding cloud seems to have appeared out of nowhere. When Issa asks the cloud whether it has appeared from among the rice plants in the paddies, he seems to be referring to an image first used by classical waka poets, inaba no kumo, "rice plant clouds" -- rice fields that undulate as breezes or wind pass over them, swelling and falling and changing shape as if they were earthbound clouds. If a cumulus cloud is rising, then a breeze or wind is probably rippling the tops of the rice plants near Issa and turning the rice paddies into cloudlike presences. Issa's humorous, strongly conversational question is rhetorical, yet at one level he seems to wonder whether rice, air, and cloud could be influencing each other in some mysterious way.

Chris Drake

Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

yoi kaze ya naka de chiisai kumo no mine

fresh breeze --
within it a small
cloud peak rising

This hokku is from the beginning of the sixth month (July) in 1811, when Issa was traveling around the area to the east of the city of Edo. The rainy season is ending, and high summer is beginning, so most of the other hokku near this one in Issa's diary are about the heat, cool breezes, and rainstorms. In the present hokku, the "good" wind or breeze seems to refer to a cooling, refreshing breeze, perhaps from the Pacific, which isn't that far away. The breeze also brings within it a small cumulonimbus cloud caused by the unsettling interaction between the incoming cool air and the hot, humid air covering the area. Issa seems fascinated by the small cloud, which has just come into existence out of apparently nothing. Soon, he guesses, the cloud may rise to towering heights and cause rain, thunder, and lightning. Perhaps he feels he is present almost at the genesis of a cloud that may be truly mountainous and full of rain by the time it passes over the Edo area farther west.

Issa has many hokku showing his fascination with "cloud peaks," mountains which appear and grow as mysteriously and rapidly as haikai. In his diary, the following hokku appears near the hokku above:

chisai no wa kado ni hoshisa yo kumo no mine

ah, how I'd like
a small cloud peak
by my gate

Chris Drake

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

- billowing clouds -

komusoo no futaritsuredatsu kumo no mine

two Komuso
wandering along -
billowing clouds

Izumi Kyooka 泉鏡花 Izumi Kyoka
more about the Komuso

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

zui-un 瑞雲 auspicious cloud art motives
sai-un, saiun, sai un 彩雲 "colorful clouds"

amulets to bring rain

Gabi Greve said...

Yosa Buson

雲の峰に 肘する酒呑童子かな
kumo no mine ni hiji suru Shuuten Dooji kana

Shuten Doji
rests his elbows
on billowing clouds . . .


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Tonegawa 利根川 / 刀禰川 River Tonegawa
Bandoo Taroo, Bandō Tarō 坂東太郎 Bando Taro
with haiku by Issa