There is a kind of old hokku that I almost never discuss here.  It belongs to the category of verses based on folk belief or myth.  Even these verses have their seasonal connections.

Here is one by Buson:

Withered grasses;
A fox messenger
hurries by.

That makes no sense in a Western context.  To us — at least traditionally — a fox is a rather sly and clever animal.  In traditional Japan, however, a fox (kitsune) is a creature that lives between two worlds — ours and the “spirit” world.  In Japan, foxes were believed to be able to take on human form, and woe to the young man who happened to become infatuated with a fox spirit!  He would just fade and waste away like a shoot of grass withering, and would eventually die.

Buson has reflected this notion in the withered grasses of the autumn fields in his hokku.  He sees the fox hurrying past not as just an ordinary animal, but rather as a courier passing swiftly with a message to deliver, involved in his task and giving no attention to the  human.  Buson regards the foxes as living their own lives in their own eerie society, separate from that of humans, but occasionally coming in contact with them.

The Hiroshige print shown depicts a gathering of fox spirits with “spirit lights.”

This verse has a feeling that we in the West would associate with Halloween.  It is far from the best kind of hokku, but it did exist, and it does have its effect.