View Full Version : The hototogisu

2nd December 2000, 08:45
I have seen the hototogisu, often used poetically as a harbinger of death, explained as a cuckoo, but also have seen it explained as being a nightingale. Does anyone have an idea of what this bird actually is?

Adam DArcy
7th December 2000, 17:36
Mr. Craik,

Would you happen to have the name of the bird rendered in Japanese? I'm not sure if it is written in Kanji, hiragana or katakana, but if you have that, I can probably help.


8th December 2000, 07:28

The hototogisu (written in kanji as s@A, , or one other way that I can't type because the character is not in my word processor's database!) is indeed a cuckoo, as in Cuculus poliocephalus. Incidentally, "hototogisu" is also the Japanese word for "toad lily" (different kanji, however).

Conversely, the nightingale is called "sayonakidori" in Japanese.

Hope that clears things up. :)

8th December 2000, 20:01
Thanks Jon!