First: I am a beginner. I don't know much.

So, I am reading おくのほそ道. I am confused by the use of かな in these haiku:




I have been told かな conveys uncertainty and wondering, but I cannot see what is uncertain in these particular cases. How should I understand these uses of かな as an English speaker?


1 Answer 1


かな in modern colloquial Japanese means "I wonder" or "...no?", but this type of かな never appears in classical literature. When you see かな in haiku, it's almost always an exclamatory particle similar in purpose to "O", "oh" or "!" in English.

The corresponding entry on jisho.org seems to be this. It's a little hard to find a natural equivalent of this type of かな in modern Japanese, but it would be "(~である)なあ" or "~よ".

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