japanese haiku | japan universe

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japanese art combining elegance and sensitivity is a well of poetry that transports us to new horizons. Engraving, calligraphy, ceramics, ikebana… or theatre, the Japanese style fascinates everyone.

Japanese haiku is a very short poem of 17 syllables that immortalizes a moment and the emotion that emanates from it. A true hymn to life, haiku celebrates the impermanence of things. The contrasts and peculiarities of this form of poetry make it a unique art in Japanese literature.

Focus on the smallest poem in the world!

☝️What are the characteristics of haiku?

haiku peculiarities

First, let’s decode the characteristics of this japanese poem particularly concise. What is a haiku?

✅ A poem of 17 syllables

In Japan, the traditional structure of a haiku consists of 17 more (elementary sounds) calligraphed in a single verse. Which gives in the western transposition, a format of 17 syllables divided into 3 lines. That’s 5 syllables for the first line, 7 for the second, and 5 for the last.

✅ The kigo to remember the season

A Japanese haiku always has a institution that’s a season word “. The latter can be explicit (winter, summer) or an implicit expression such as “the dead leaves” in a metaphor for autumn or “the swallow” for a spring haiku.

✅ The kireji to separate two images

This form of poetry includes a caesura (Kireji) to give relief between complementary or opposite elements. The caesura separates two ideas to create a crack or fall and thus surprise the reader.

✅ Absolute simplicity

Haiku must be understood by everyone by translating both the idea of depth and simplicity. This, through a total mastery of language and the art of suggestion.

✅ A meditative poem

More than a Japanese poem, haiku is an invitation to meditation, we find there the theme of the passage of time, melancholy, awareness of nature, timelessness. Likewise, this poetic genre appeals to the five senses (smell, sight, hearing, touch, taste) to arouse emotion.

? Who invented haiku?

matsuo basho, 1694

Note of an exchange of haikus on kaishi paper by matsuo basho, 1694.

The origins of this traditional Japanese poem date back to heian period, at the end of the 8th century. In fact, the ancestor of haiku would probably be and tank, a short poem of similar structure, evoking nature and the season. we will have to wait the Edo period for the poetic genre to become popular.

? Precursor genres of haiku

In the sixteenth century, the rainbow fishing it was a way of classical poetry inherited from the tanka and practiced by aristocrats. At that time, it was about composing a collective poem using humor and wit.

? Basho Matsuo, the father of haiku

During the 17th century, haiku was democratized and codified in its current form by the famous poet Bashō Matsuo who only took renga haikai from the first verse (hokku). The brazen character is abandoned in favor of subtlety. It was then that this form of short poetry became a separate genre in japanese literature.

?‍? Shiki Masaoka, famous haikist

If haiku has been around for a long time, its name, a contraction of ” haïkaï no hokku was not invented until the 19th century by shiki masaoka. It should be noted that this famous Japanese poet and theoretician would be the author of almost 25,000 haiku ! ?

✍️ How to write a haiku in French?

french haiku

Source: www.whisperies.com

In Japan, haiku art has many followers. Writing poems inspired by nature is particularly popular in Mastuyama (Ehime), Shiki’s birthplace. In this place, there are even special mailboxes to deposit haikus. And of course, the most beautiful literary works are then exposed in the city.

Do you have the soul of a poet or simply a certain artistic sensitivity? why not write haiku in french ? We show you how to find inspiration and respect the poetic codes of the perfect haiku.

? Find inspiration

First of all you will have to find what Inspire. Walk in nature and let yourself be guided by your emotions, your senses. Get inspired by the fauna of the flora, the seasons, the materials, the objects that surround you. Capture the fleeting nature of things.

?‍? Syllable Composition

After the bottom comes the shape. In France and other Western countries, haiku consists of 3 lines with a 5/7/5 syllabic structure.

  • The first verse has 5 syllables.
  • The second verse has 7 syllables.
  • The last verse has 5 syllables.

? Kigo word of the season

In this literary genre of Japanese poetry, we always include a word of the season. It can be the name of the season or a metaphor like sunflower for a summer haiku or snow for a winter haiku.

✖ Cesure (kireigi)

The haiku form has a caesura. In French, we use a hyphen or a capital letter at the beginning of the word that cuts the two ideas.

Finally, keep in mind that the purpose of haiku is take advantage of the emotion and the ephemeral side of the present moment.

« In short, a good haiku is 3 lines to contain the essentials and suggest the rest. »

? Famous Haikus for Inspiration

now that this Japanese traditional short poem has no more secrets for you, maybe you want to read some? Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, Kobayashi Issa, Masaoka Shiki are considered the four haiku masters. They wrote many poems and moved the whole world. Aesthetics, sobriety, humor, spirituality… Here are some famous japanese haiku to inspire you

matsuo bashō
2 Matsuo Bashou
matsuo bashō
4. Matsuo Basho
isa kobayashi
Kobayashi Isa 2
Yosa Buson 1
Yosa Buson 2
Kobayashi Isa 3
isa kobayashi
Kobayashi Isa 5
Masaoka Shiki 1
Masaoka Shiki 2

The smallest poem in the world has something to surprise you. Know that if you write a Japanese haiku, these 3 magical lines will immortalize your happiness and suspend time…

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