575 Haiku Samurai

Samurai Helmet

Samurai Helmet (Photo credit: JapanDave)

I had the opportunity today to have a conversation with Tazuo Yamaguchi. Taz loves and I mean loves Haiku. He is the host for the Haiku Death Match at Nationals every year and shared some of his wisdom pertaining to Haiku with me this morning.

This might be the moment that you are wondering to yourself “what is this Haiku you speak of?”, or you might be saying ” I love Haiku.” Either way I am going to take a moment to explain the basic form of Haiku for you.

Please understand that the definition I am about to give is based on the English version of Haiku. It is not a set definition, but rather a widely accepted idea of what Haiku means to western culture. Haiku is a short poem usually consisting of seventeen syllables over three lines.

Pretty simple right? Heres the thing though. This is just a guideline for writing Haiku. Traditional Japanes Haiku has many variations and is not even based on syllables. The following is taken from Wikipedia:

“Traditional haiku consist of 17 on (also known as morae), in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 on respectively.[4] Any one of the three phrases may end with the kireji.[5] Although haiku are often stated to have 17 syllables,[6] this is incorrect as syllables and on are not the same.”

Taz loves Haiku so much that he made a movie and book about it. It is called Haiku: The art of the short story. You can get a copy of it on Amazon through clicking on the link HERE.

Ok my time at the computer is just about up. I will try to post a few more times from NPS. Until then KEEP YOUR PEN SHARP!

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