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Revision as of 18:47, 22 March 2017 by Tzippurah (talk | contribs) (In Poetry)

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Motif Information
Motif Uguisu 01.jpg
Rōmaji Uguisu
English Bush warbler, nightingale
Kana ウグイス
Season Spring
Seasonal Exceptions Winter
Auspicious No
Motif Type Bird

Uguisu refers to the Japanese bush warbler (Cettia diphone), a small song bird native to Japan.[1] Uguisu can be recognized by their olive colored plumage, the white markings over the eye, and upward turned beak.

Uguisu are a secretive bird, more often heard than seen, except in winter when the trees are bare. Their characteristic breeding call is associated in with the coming of spring in Japanese poetry.

Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings

Uguisu with ume on hanafuda

Uguisu are heavily associated with the coming of spring, as their winter calls of low chirping (pi pi pi) change to the breeding call of hoo- hoke'kyo.

Motif Connotations & Symbolism

Uguisu are thought to be loved by Buddha as their mating call sounds like one of the names for the Lotus Sutra, Hoke-kyō (法華経).

Common Motif Pairings

Identification & Style Variations

Describe how the pattern can be identified. If applicable, explain how the pattern is conventionally simplified.

Motif Examples

Motif in Literature & Other Usage

Uguisu on plum branch (紅梅に鶯, c.1845) by Utagawa Hiroshige in the collection of Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Uguisu are famed in skin care circles for being the source of uguisu no fun- an exfoliant made from their droppings. [2]

Uguisu are associated with Chapter 23, Hatsune (First Song), from the Tale of Genji in which Genji receives a New Year's greeting an uguisu on an artificial pine branch with a poem about loneliness from one of his lovers.[3]

In Poetry

Utagawa Hiroshige's poem inscribed on the print at right:

鴬や  Uguisu ya Bush warbler
ことしも声の  kotoshi mo koe no this year's voice
古からむ furukaramu is old-fashioned

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions

  • Link to any relevant threads on IG


  1. Wikipedia article on Japanese bush warbler. Accessed March 22, 2017.
  2. You Put WHAT on your face? Uguisu no Fun : Nightingale Droppings Traditional Japanese Beauty Secrets
  3. JAANUS article on Hatsune. Accessed March 22, 2017.

Image Credits

  • Please credit any image used with the exception of images from Immortal Geisha or Moonblossom's photo gallery or anyone else who stated they don't need crediting.

Authors & Contributors

Author/s: (# (IG Username))