Colorful festivals, delicate foods, wonderful sceneries; these are the essence of the rich culture and tradition of Japan. It is a place where ancient tradition co-exists with modern life. One of its proofs is the beauty of the poetry called ‘haiku’. Here are the things that you should know about it:


Haiku was first written in the late 15th century as part of a poetry style called renga or “linked verse” which is comprised of a 5, 7, 5, 7, 7 line pattern. This kind of poetry is essentially the first three lines of this older form and was originally elevated during the seventeenth century by Matsuo Basho. Finally, the traditional poetry called hokku was renamed to haiku by Shiki Masaoka at the end of the nineteenth century.


Its writing population in Japan is around 8 to 10 million, submissions are made weekly and are featured daily in newspapers and magazines. Aside from its 5-7-5 pattern, it also contains a kigo which indicates a season. It is dedicated to people as well as birds, flowers, and other forms of life. Composing a haiku is a tribute to nature for its wonders.

Haiku in Modern Days

Haiku is not just a form of poetry, but a way to see the world. In the same way, writing this kind of poetry is a way to cherish an experience by putting it into words. Commonly, composing three-stanzas, with a 5-7-5 pattern, the poem serves as a reflection of the beauty of nature.


Here are some examples of haiku:


The glimpse of the sun                    

Another chance to get up

It sets me on fire


The wave of the sea

Extend beyond the limits

Breathe, see its beauty

Tiny drops of rain

Just enjoy the little things

Have fun and relax



Sources & References:

Madoka M. (2010). Haiku: The Heart of Japan in 17 Syllables. Retrieved from http://www.tokyofoundation.org/en/articles/2010/haiku

Gilbert R. (2005). Kigo Versus Seasonal Reference in Haiku: Observations, Anecdotes and a Translation Retrieved from http://simplyhaiku.com/SHv3n3/features/rGilbert-kigoSeasons_js.html

Missias A.C. Contemporary Haiku: Origins and New Directions. Retrieved from http://www.webdelsol.com/Perihelion/acmarticle.htm


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