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A kigo is a word or phrase used in Japanese poetry that evokes a a particular season. Usually, any mention or Shallow Parody of haiku (or Japanese poetry as a whole) will very likely mention cherry blossoms. We'll leave it to The Other Wiki to tell us about the significance of Cherry Blossoms [1] (sakura) to Japanese culture, because the point here is that they only appear in spring. Mentioning them is a economical way of setting the season, and haiku is all about economy of expression.

Other common kigo are:

Spring: Warm (atatakashi or nurumu), the warming weather; uguisu, Japanese bush warbler, regarded as a harbinger of spring; Frogs: especially their calling

Summer: Hot/heat; Rainy season starting in mid-June; Wisteria which blooms in early summer and lotus in late summer.

Autumn (Fall): Coloured leaves; Typhoon, typhoon season is roughly June-December; Insects, implying singing insects such as crickets.

Winter: Snow, Cold, fugu soup, a seasonal dish, Christmas (modern).

Notes

  1. Actually, we don't have to, because the wiki has its own perfectly good page on the subject. God, we're good, aren't we?
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