Tokyobling's Blog

Kamakura Haiku Post

Posted in Places by tokyobling on October 28, 2014

In the city of Kamakura, in Kanagawa Prefecture south of Tokyo I was exiting the Hase Station of the Enoden line when I noticed an odd looking post box almost hidden next to the station. It was one of several Haiku Post boxes, set up by the Haiku Appreciation group of Kamakura around the city of Kamakura, Haiku & Haiku (俳句&ハイク, a play on words as Haiku means both the poem and the activity of hiking). Haiku are the most famous form of Japanese poetry, and always follow the same pattern of three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables and should contain a keyword that shows or denotes one of the four seasons. I sometimes write haiku in Japanese while on the trains and subways of Tokyo. It is a good way to pass the time and exercise your brain and I think it is at least as effective as the sudoku number puzzles you see people with all the time.

The Haiku post boxes (there are about 20 of them and there are maps showing their locations but oddly enough not the one in these photos) are used to encourage people to submit their own haiku, either prepared ones or ones they write on the spot, as paper forms are available. I had no idea how popular something like this could be, but according to their homepage these very few haiku post boxes almost hidden away in a small town on the coat of Japan amassed an amazing 2621 poems during the summer of 2014 alone! You can read the best of them at their official site here.

There are rules for writing haiku in English and other languages as well, but I have never tried. Have you written one? Please share!

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10 Responses

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  1. danangbanyu said, on October 28, 2014 at 8:17 am

    so, haiku mean poem ?

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on November 25, 2014 at 12:42 am

      Well, Haiku is a sort of poem, but it means something different. (^-^;)

      Like

  2. remszi said, on October 28, 2014 at 9:59 am

    This is so lovely.

    Like

  3. pk1154pk1154 said, on October 28, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    My childhood attempt at a haiku in English (5-7-5), only slightly revised:

    Icy cold fingers
    On arms thrust to the sky
    Wearing white snow-gloves

    Many trees here are already bare, but my thread-leaf Japanese maple has not turned scarlet yet. Too early to think of snow, really.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on November 25, 2014 at 12:43 am

      Oh, it is lovely! Not childish at all. I think it covers all the aspects of an English language haiku, you managed to squeeze in lots of seasonal references as well! Three or four perhaps.

      Like

  4. nehalvaidya said, on October 29, 2014 at 5:53 am

    I wish if they have the official Haiku website with English translation,I am big fan of Basho and others…

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on November 25, 2014 at 12:50 am

      That would be nice, but translating Haiku is probably even more difficult than writing new ones! (^-^;)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. amadl said, on October 29, 2014 at 8:50 am

    I tried to make some in Japanese for an assignment, but I forget aLL of them..
    My favorite one in EngLish is from the NYTimes (with sLight modification):
    And as the world and
    The stage turns, you’re expected
    To keep on dancing
    Not reaLLy sure if it’s 100% by-the-ruLes correct, though

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on November 25, 2014 at 12:50 am

      Haha… absolutely not correct by all the rules but fun nevertheless! (^-^) I am sure you can write good ones in Chinese or Indonesian as well! (^-^)

      Like


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