Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Carpe Diem #300, Matsuyoi (Waiting Evening)

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today is another festive day I think, not for the weather outside, real autumn weather, but for the fact that this is our 300th prompt of Carpe Diem. Really awesome. I have started in October last year and now we have already our 300th prompt isn't that a joy? I hadn't dreamed that Carpe Diem would exist for such a long time ... I am proud and it makes me very happy (and humble) that I may be your host here. Thank you all for your nice haiku and for the effort you do every day to write these haiku for Carpe Diem. Without your participation Carpe Diem couldn't exist ... so I am grateful ...

Today the prompt we have, Matsuyoi (Waiting Evening), needs some explanation I think. Autumn is, as you all maybe know the season for the moon. In classic (and modern) Japan they love the moon of autumn. In the time that haiku became a poetry form of it's self, taken by Basho from the Renga, they used the Lunar calendar. So autumn started in the 7th Lunar cylcle (our August). So the 8th Lunar cycle (September) was the mid autumn in which the autumn equinoxe occured, that was around that time the 15th day of the 8th Lunar-cycle. On the 15th the Harvest Moon, the full moon, occured and in that time the weather wasn't always good enough to see the Harvest Moon. So the evening of the day before the Harvest Moon, 14th, was called "little full moon" and our prompt for today was the kigo for that day.
Because they didn't know if tomorrow might be clouded, they might as well celebrate this night, if the moon was bright and visible. This was called Matsuyoi (Waiting Evening), it was the evening in which the waited to see (and celebrate) the full moon, or in this case the "little full moon".
Poems with this kigo refer to a certain longing, especially in love poems.

Tsukimi furoshiki (Source unknown, not retrievable)

I have found a few "modern" haiku with this kigo as I sought for examples of haiku with Matsuyoi in it. And I found a few nice examples.

moon waiting evening --
the patting the patting steps
of a stray dog

(c) Michaels Goldman

waiting evening --
farmers sing in chorus
an ancient song

(c) Narayanan Raghunathan (one of the founders of: Wonder Haiku Worlds)

According to Chinese legends, the beautiful Jooga (Kooga) (Joga/Koga) shows up in a full moon night. This legend refers to a princess (or sage mountain woman) who run away from an unwanted lover and hid in the moon. 

That would be a nice story I think, the above story about Moon fairy Kooga. Isn't it a wonderful example of what we learned about Matsuyoi, about love poems?

To write my own haiku on Matsuyoi will not be easy, but I have to try ... so here I go ...

waiting evening --
the little girls looks to the full moon
hoping to see Kooga

longing for my love
looking at the full moon in the nighshift
hoping she misses me too

Not a bad try ... I hope you enjoyed this episode and I hope that it will inspire you all to write an all new haiku on Matsuyoi. Have fun, be inspired and share.

This prompt will stay on'till September 19th 11.59 AM (CET) and I hope to publish our next episode later on today around 7.00 PM (CET). That will be: Meigetsu (Harvest Moon, full moon of September)



  1. Wonderful write-up Kristjaan. Really enjoyable and enriching reading.

  2. 300th episode! I feel honored and happy to have been here since the very beginning. Thanks for being the best host on the web..

  3. Congratulations Kristjaan for the 300th episode of Carpe Diem daily haiku meme. You are doing a remarkable job.

  4. Congratulations on your 300th post. I've been posting since the beginning and am so happy to be here! Love that you and your wife look at the moon when you are working the night shift and she is at home. Very romantic!

  5. Your posts on haiku are always so interesting and I always learn something from them.
    Congratulations on your 300th prompt and thank you for starting this haiku challenge.

  6. 300 episodes.. and on top of that the specials and the features.. this is great... Today I was so late...

  7. This is amazing, Kristjaan! I admire you for your perseverance, for the diligence with which you introduce all your prompts and for the diversification episodes you mix in the whole thing. I am glad to be part of this, even though a random one. And I am surely glad to see the writing membership has grown immensely since the beginning, to see the same people sticking with the site - it means a lot.

    Congratulations and keep up your inspired and inspiring work!