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Van Rompuy[edit]

Van Rompuy is not a 'notable haijin', only a famous politician. But for that fact, no serious haiku writer would even have heard of him. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:25, 10 June 2018 (UTC)

Call a syllable a syllable[edit]

the article currently opens like this: "haiku is a form of Japanese poetry, consisting of 17 moras (or on)". Note that neither "mora" nor "on" are English words, they are Japanese words for which the English is "syllable." I understand that haiku originated in Japan, but this is being needlessly esoteric. The vast majority of people reading that sentence will have no idea what it means. I'd like to point out that here on the talk page, everyone uses the word "syllables", not mora or on. In the interests of consistency and clarity, the opening line of the article should do the same. Callivert (talk) 08:34, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Mora is an English word. Please read beyond the lead paragraph to the section 'Syllables or "on" in haiku', where the distinction between syllables and morae is fully explained. It is a common misapprehension that haiku contain 17 syllables. --Yumegusa (talk) 08:09, 17 October 2009 (UTC)
I wonder whether that misapprehesion should be addressed in the intro. It seems a bit negative to be talking about what a haiku is not in the intro, but the misapprehension is very common indeed. Tesspub (talk) 17:48, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Now done Tesspub (talk) 08:49, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

There is no distinction. The ending "n" literally is a syllable. Always. Same for an elongated vowel. In fact, Tokyo in Japanese is literally spelled out as To-u-kyo-o (the author here is wrong in spelling it To-o-kyo-o and needs to go back to a Japanese Elementary school where they teach this every day). The u and o are literally syllables and characters of their own. The explanation itself is riddled with errors. When you sing a Japanese song, these are all clearly enunciated as separate syllables. And yeah "kyo" is one syllable. Even English sometimes pronounces it as one syllable! That argument doesn't prove anything, and the author even contradicts himself here. This entire explanation is completely insufficient and irrelevant, written for someone's own personal gratification. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:40, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

I agree to some extent on the issue of syllables, but the anonymous editor's explanation is wrong. In the example of 東京, the best English representation of that word's syllables would be toukyou. In hiragana it is written とうきょう toukyou not とおきょお tookyoo, and the distinction is important because certain long "o" sounds are written with "O"s instead of "U"s. Exploding Boy (talk) 19:49, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
Leaving aside the anonymous author's personal attack (which is at least partly on me), (s)he illustrates the problem. This section is about the perception of sounds, which are quite different for listeners educated solely in English and those educated as children in Japanese. As for saying there is no difference between syllables and morae, there is extensive literature to contradict that (some of it quoted here) and there is the evidence of our own ears. Tesspub (talk) 08:49, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

While a mora is not exactly synonmous with a syllable, to define the haiku entirely in terms of mora is being pedantic and inclined to obscurantism. The word is very rare and the explanation of it in its own page is highly technical. This article is for ENGLISH readers, and for a general public at that, and editors should keep that in the forefronts of their minds when they write or edit. It is recommended Wikipedia policy to present a general summary of the article in the opening sentences. Too often, writers take this to mean that all the minutiae of the theme has to telegraphed there, and that any small concession to general usage must be avoided at all cost. As a result, the reader is discouraged from perusing what remains. I have added a parenthetical phrase, to wit (loosely speaking: syllables) to shed a little light. The mora is not quite a syllable, but it is very close to the meaning of it. To avoid the well-understood word "syllable" entirely is to be a hopeless purist. The Japanese Haiku, its forms and the constituents of its structure, may well have no exact English equivalents, but it is the task of those trying to explain the creations of one culture to a different one (sometimes a very different one) to express the concepts of the first in ways that can be readily accessed by interested parties of the second. That is the often frustrating task of an interpreter, but a good one straddles both cultures, and works accordingly. Myles325a (talk) 08:51, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

While I agree with your general thrust, to introduce what amounts to a gross error merely makes matters worse, so I'm reverting. (Unless one is speaking very loosely indeed - far more loosely than WP tolerates - , a mora is not the equivalent of a syllable: e.g. haibun is two syllables, but four moras.) --candyworm (talk) 23:52, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Please leave mora in. The claim that haiku have 17 syllables has contributed to many wordy and inaccurate translations of haiku as people try to fill in an arbitrary number. The article as it stands is accurate and helpful and I often refer people to it. steven (talk) 20:44, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, leave mora in.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 11:54, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes, but later on, under current trends in English haiku, we find the bizarre assertion "Use of three (or fewer) lines of 17 or fewer syllables". No serious practitioner in the English-speaking world counts syllables, and no serious editor would reject a haiku simply because one line contains 18 syllables.  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:20, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm all for using simpler terms but not at the expense of being wrong. Using syllable would make the text easier to understand, sure, but it would be wrong, not just a little wrong but quite wrong. Ease of understanding is no use when the text is wrong. Also we should be using English words where possible of course. There is no equivalent for kireji in English (not that I know of) but mora is English. This the word we should be using not syllable and not on. JIMp talk·cont 08:21, 30 March 2013 (UTC)


What does "effectively allowing it to stand as an independent poem" mean? Does it mean anything? Tesspub (talk) 09:51, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

This is how it is typically explained by Japanese practitioners, in contrast to the following renga verses which do not include kireji and are not meant to stand alone. There are a couple of references in the kireji article in addition to the one here. --Yumegusa (talk) 13:25, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Ah.. I see. I'll have a think about how to make that clearer. Tesspub (talk) 14:06, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
..Later... would it be accurate to say "Traditionally, the use of kireji distinguishes haiku from longer poems and indicates to the reader that the poem is complete and not a fragment of a longer piece"? If so, that would seem to contradict the first para of the Kireji article. Tesspub (talk) 08:18, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
No. There are several types of Japanese poetry employing no kireji; it is confined to hokku/haiku. In fact, hokku/haiku can be written without kireji, but presence of kireji indicates hokku/haiku-hood fairly unequivocally (though there are cases of internal renga verses of medieval vintage in which they are also found). So, a kireji will typically be found in most J. haiku, and most J. hokku irrespective of how long the poem is. What do you see as the main weakness of the current text? --Yumegusa (talk) 09:54, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
The main weakness is that I don't understand it. And now it's been explained more fully... I still don't understand! Actually, I can't see the difference between what I said above and what you said above. The Kireji article states that they are used in the first stanza of renga - but then would you define the first stanza of a renga as a haiku? (am I getting closer or futher away?!) Tesspub (talk) 11:03, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Ah. I think if you take a look at the Origin and development section of this article, and at the Hokku article, you may get a firmer grasp of how the bits hang together. --Yumegusa (talk) 12:38, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Right... getting there. What do you think about:
"The use of Kireji is traditionally reserved for haiku and hokku. They do not appear, for example, in the second or subsequent verses of renga or renku. The kireji is thus said to lend the verse structural support,[4] allowing it to stand as an independent poem." Tesspub (talk) 14:47, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
That in place of "It lends the verse structural support,[1] effectively allowing it to stand as an independent poem."? There may be a problem in your 'thus', which seems to say that the fact that the kireji only appears in the hokku/haiku lends the verse support. As a new approach, you'd need to cite a source for it; the sources in use have it rather the other way around: the kireji itself lends structural support to the verse, therefore it can stand alone. Do you see the difference? --Yumegusa (talk) 17:17, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
That's not what I meant but I see what you mean about the wording. Tesspub (talk) 19:12, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Tesspub (talk) 12:20, 2 May 2010 (UTC) thought he'd finally understood this - but is now more baffled than before!

BTW, my edit "it is said to lend" was not intended as an attribution, it was intended mean "this is whimsy rather than fact". Tesspub (talk) 18:44, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes it did lend that air, which is part of the problem. Unless you can cite reference for "this is whimsy rather than fact" then it amounts to wp:original research, and as such can't be included. --Yumegusa (talk) 19:01, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
[Cut or Uncut] has some interesting things to say - but I wonder about the legitimacy of citing an unsigned article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tesspub (talkcontribs) 18:48, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
...says he, leaving an unsigned comment! :) That whole website is authored by John Carley, a recognised authority on haikai. --Yumegusa (talk) 19:07, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

"The kireji lends the verse structural support, allowing it to stand as an independent poem". All these months after raising the issue and after much thought and reading, I still have no idea what this means. I haven't read the cited books but the online citation is equally (or even more) unhelpful. Does anyone really feel they understand it? And if so, can you put it in words I can understand too?

Perhaps it would help to break down some possible meanings. "Structural support" is a metaphor referring to buildings or other engineering works. I can think of four types of structural support in a building. There are those that are essential to the structure but invisible to viewer such as steel girders inside walls. There are those that are of the essence of the building, essential to the structure and proudly displayed such as pillars in gothic cathedrals. There are those that are added as an afterthought when the building is in danger of collapse such as flying buttresses or X-ties. And there are those that serve completely other purposes but incidentally provide structural support such as chimney breasts. So is a kireji a girder, a pillar, a flying buttress or a chimney breast? Tesspub (talk) 21:11, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

In your extended analogy, kireji is a pillar. But I'm wondering whether this is really the correct place for the discussion; would it not make more sense to take it to Talk:Kireji? However, here is where we are, so let me try and address this. Sticking with the analogy, I, being no architect or engineer, might not understand, nor should I need to, how reinforcement of a particular building is achieved by a particular pillar. It is enough that I observe the phenomenon. Maybe the analogy has been pushed beyond its useful limits, so let's return to reality. If it is widely and reliably attested that a kireji's presence allows a verse to stand independently, then it is correct to include this information. The editor's job is merely to report this - it's ultimately immaterial whether we understand it too. --candyworm (talk) 22:07, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
You're probably right - I'd forgotten Kireji had it's own page. But I note that there it says "it is said to lend structural support" - a phrasing that disturbs me much less. (We previously discussed that wording here and you gave a good reason for not using it - I just checked to see if I also made the edit on the Kireji page. Turns out I didn't - I must have pinched the wording from there!)
I am interested in your answer of "pillar". My intuition was to plump for "chimney breast". Perhaps I am over-analysing but to me the difference is that a pillar is essentially about structure and is decorated to make it beautiful whereas a chimney breast serves another purpose altogether (an analogy to conveying emphasis, wonder, question etc - the items listed on the kireji page) and incidentally lends structural support. To me, it is important to know which of these is intended. The word "lends" implies the chimney breast answer to me.
I can't agree with your perception of an editor's role. As you know, I have made very few contributions to Wikipedia and an scarcely qualified to comment about the role here, but I was a journal editor for eight years and I always assumed that if I didn't understand it, neither would my readers and that would have been failing in my duty. Tesspub (talk) 09:03, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
OK, I'm discussing with myself again, sorry! But having written the above about chimney breasts, I went back and re-read the citation from Inahata Teiko 稲畑汀子 President of the Japan Traditional Haiku Association
"Ya", "kana", "keri", or "nari" and other kire-ji effectively add to the author's feeling in a short haiku or speak for omitted words. Kire-ji, in this respect, provides a structural support for haiku.
In the light of the chimney breast thing, I found I read this completely differently - perhaps he is talking about support for the emotional context of the poem rather than a prosodic structure. Or perhaps it's just a weak translation??? Tesspub (talk) 09:30, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't think whether it's a chimney breast or a pillar is going to have any impact on how the info is presented in the article; and that after all is what this page is for discussing. (I don't mean to sound dismissive, but the metaphor is starting to give me headache.)

"it is said to lend structural support" versus "[it] lends the verse structural support": If it is reliably attested at Z that X does Y, then WP should state "X does Y" citing Z; however, if Z instead states "it is said that X does Y", then WP should state "it is said that X does Y" citing Z. In other words, if our sources state (as they do) that kireji lends a verse structural support, then it is correct to state "kireji lends the verse structural support" (as this article does). I'll check the kireji article and adjust if necessary - thanks for the heads-up.

Editor's role: I was referring to a WP editor's role, not the role of editors in general. However, to clarify: of course the article must be understandable, but there are different levels of understanding. The sentence "The kireji lends the verse structural support, allowing it to stand as an independent poem." is perfectly straightforward, devoid of difficult vocabulary or syntax. What you may not understand is how the kireji lends the verse structural support; perhaps that would be a nice-to-have in the kireji article, but it seems an unnecessary level to delve to in this one. (Just as the mechanics of how the pillar lends the building support would more appropriately be found in the pillar article than the building one :) --candyworm (talk) 10:27, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps the essence of the problem is that the abbreviated version in WP slightly misrepresents what Inahata Teiko said. The two versions seem different to me. She is much more specific than the quote implies. I will make an appropriate edit.
Moreover, the rest of the document at is very poorly translated into English. I think we are doing a disservice by helping enshrine these words. There is obviously no better source than Inahata Teiko but, unfortunately, I don't think the translation can be relied upon.Tesspub (talk) 08:41, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Interestingly, Google's machine translation of gives "is said to" in place of "in this respect". So if that is to be believed (dubious!) Inahata Teiko herself is saying that "kireji are said to be the skeleton of haiku". I would love to have the comments of someone who can translate this page properly. Tesspub (talk) 10:00, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

The crucial sentence is 切字は俳句の骨格ともいわれています where ともいわれています is variously translated as "in this respect" and "is said to be". Tesspub (talk) 10:13, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I have now had translations from two Japanese-fluent haiku experts. One gives "Kireji are said to represent the basic structure of haiku." and he adds that "the basic structure" probably refers to juxtaposition + suggestion. The other gives "Kire-ji, it is said, are the skeletal frame of haiku." I am now certain that translation in is misleadingly incorrect in that implies that the emotional impact of kireji give structure to the haiku. I pleaded guilty to WP:OR when I previously used "it is said" but I now realise I'd quoted it from a different translation somewhere. Tesspub (talk) 15:51, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Can you please clarify? From what I understand you to say, the three translations are (the online one first):
* Kire-ji, in this respect, provides a structural support for haiku.
* Kireji are said to represent the basic structure of haiku.
* Kire-ji, it is said, are the skeletal frame of haiku.
What do you see as the important difference? Shirane says (TOD p100) "The cutting word (kireji), a requirement of the hokku, often gave the hokku the dynamics of two linked verses within the confines of a seventeen-syllable hokku", i.e. it allowed the verse to stand alone, rather than depend on its (non-existent) preceding verse, as all the following verses did. --candyworm (talk) 17:45, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Onji count in English[edit]

"Onji count in haiku in English may be affected by dialect: USA English lengthens (drawls) short stressed vowels in open syllables, and standard British English keeps short vowels short."

If by "onji" we mean "morae" this is true, although unreferenced, but I wonder about the relevance. No-one (except me! - I experiment with writing English-language haiku with different constraints) counts morae in English-language poetry. The author highlights just one of many problems (in my opinion) with trying to count morae in languages other than Japanese.

Oh, and at the least, we should replace "onji" with "on".

What do folks think? Just delete or is there some value in this? Tesspub (talk) 10:14, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Delete. It's irrelevant to the subject. --candyworm (talk) 10:09, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Done Tesspub (talk) 13:22, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Gendai Haiku[edit]

There is the briefest of mentions of modern trends in Japanese haiku under the "Haiku in English" section but there is no detail anywhere. I feel Gendai Haiku deserves its own section. Is anyone reading this qualified to write it? Tesspub (talk) 07:35, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Cutting, juxtaposition and kireji[edit]

Desperately seeking a form of words to explain the concept of "cutting" simply enough for the intro. All help, links, gratefully received. I tried to sidestep the problem by a brief reference to kireji - but the oversimplification was quickly spotted!

My idea in reformulating the intro was to put the concept of cutting at the core of the description and to de-emphasise the 5-7-5 business. This seems to be much more in line with haiku poets' conception, both ancient and modern. But I have run into the wall of explaining a concept that seems quite alien to westerners in a few words. Also the references are a problem. I have gained some understanding by reading extensively and by talking to poets. I have yet to read a source that explains the idea in western-friendly words. I was recently advised that "the poet cuts a haiku from the world as a chef cuts beautiful sashimi from dead fish". I am not sure that would be very helpful to many readers! Tesspub (talk) 08:00, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Interesting, if not very explanatory, explanation! One of the problems with 'cutting', in the way it's usually explained (as dividing the poem in two) is that for a huge number of haiku this just doesn't stand up. The most casual of glances at early modern (and earlier) haiku/hokku will confirm the very common use of the 'cutting word' kana 哉 at verse end. Do you understand how that cuts (not sure I do)? More importantly, can you find it explained somewhere we can reference it?
I actually did add a point about kireji to the intro yesterday, but it seems to have got lost in an edit conflict with a bot.--candyworm (talk) 15:20, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
When I digested the sashimi (yum) I did find it helped my understanding. It is becoming clear to me that 'cut' is a very loose translation of 'kire'. I feel that it includes the ideas of paring the information to the bone and of focus - isolating ideas from the from the rest of the clutter around them. The kireji, is, I think, just one aspect of it. I have read the one can think of a haiku as cut in three places - before the beginning, after the end and at the kireji. I hope my understanding is getting better - and not just more complex! There do seem to be a lot of different ideas about 'kana'. I have read that it makes the poem circular, linking the end to the beginning. I have also read that it implies a cut before the final line. And thirdly, that it identifies a haiku as being a single, self-contained topic "cut" from the rest of the world. Perhaps one of these is true. Perhaps they all are. Tesspub (talk) 16:45, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I note that we have quotes from ladies who both head Japanese haiku societies, the classical one and the modern one. They say, respectively, that "The fundamental aesthetic quality of both hokku and haiku is that it is internally sufficient, independent of context, and will bear consideration as a complete work." and "The essence of haiku is 'cutting'". I strongly suspect they are saying the same thing, once you understand what "cutting" means. Tesspub (talk) 20:41, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

18 on by Bashō[edit]

fuji no kaze ya - 6

ōgi ni nosete - 7

Edo miyage - 5

Is this worthy of comment? What would the comment be? Tesspub (talk) 18:25, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

I think it's less unusual than often thought, so no special comment needed. --candyworm (talk) 21:50, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I think that's the comment that's needed :) Tesspub (talk) 21:59, 26 April 2011 (UTC)


Tesspub, you've reverted my edit 'characterised >> characterized' with the edit summary
'"Character" entered English via French and Latin and hence take an "s" in its -ise form. The "z" version is for words that entered direct from Greek.'
Please take a look at which states "American spelling accepts only -ize endings in most cases, such as organize, realize, and recognize": I don't believe these exampled words are from Greek. If I switch my spell-check from UK to US English, 'characterised' gets the wavy red underline, and 'characterized' doesn't. I believe that from the outset, this article has used American English. Would you care to comment? --candyworm (talk) 22:14, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

That link supports my case as far as Oxford Rules are concerned - and these are the only rules I'm familiar with. As for this article being in US English, I can't see any other evidence for that. But I don't really care. Revert away! Tesspub (talk) 22:33, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
I've just noticed that the word "characteri*ed" appears twice in the article, once with each spelling. I'll change one if you change the other. No wait... that's wrong... Tesspub (talk) 08:58, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Hiragana in examples[edit]

I've recently added hiragana transliterations to the haiku examples. I think this is a useful thing to have done because it helps illustrate issues in on-counting. However, I've just spotted and corrected a subtle error and this is making me doubt my accuracy. I'd really appreciate it if a proficient Japanese speaker would check the examples to make sure they are correct. Tesspub (talk) 12:55, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Don't worry. They are correct. Oda Mari (talk) 13:58, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Thank you — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tesspub (talkcontribs) 14:41, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Links to Haiku in English[edit]

Fair point that English-language haiku never counted on. But the revision now means there is no link to Haiku in English until section 6.4. I can't help thinking that most people seeking information on haiku of any form are going to land here first and since a great many are going to want info on English haiku, there should be a link at or near the top. Tesspub (talk) 22:45, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Good point. I've added a hat-note to the very top. --candyworm (talk) 00:08, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
That's excellent. It also changes entirely my somewhat protective feeling towards the remaining references to English haiku in the article. I now think that more can be cleared out of here and perhaps expanded over there. Tesspub (talk) 09:55, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

WP:Japan Assessment Commentary[edit]

The article was assessed as C-class. Although coverage is quite good, and there are numerous in-line citations, I made the following observations:

  • The Lead section needs to be better organized. The first sentence should be a concise defintion in accessible terms.
    • If a 3-item list of features is going to be included in the lead, they should each be brief and to the point.
    • The lead should be free of detailed explanations on key concepts. If "syllable" must be used then so be it.
    • I suggest something like: "A haiku is a short form of Japanese poetry that typically links complementary imagery or metaphor based on nature. In English-speaking countries, haiku are written with 17 syllables; however, those composed in Japanese are written with 17 phonetic letters (kana), which may not conform to the English concept of the syllable." (or something like that).
  • Style: It is apparent that the main editor feels that the Western perception of the haiku needs to be "corrected". However, this issue should not dominate the article. Perhaps a short section on Western definitions and versions of the haiku, followed by the longer and more detailed Japanese. As it is, there is a near point by point comparison between the two styles that is counter-productive to the purpose of the article, which is explanation without judgement.
  • References are plenty, but there are a few places that still need in-line citations. A few of these are already marked.
  • Accessibility: Most terms are well defined and explained, though not always on the first mention.
  • Example haiku are all gathered in one section, though several are mentioned in earlier sections. It would be more instructive if the example haiku followed the point, so the reader doesn't have to scroll back and forth.

Good work so far, and good luck. Boneyard90 (talk) 02:19, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

There is more discussion at the assessor's talk page. Worth a look. Tesspub (talk) 13:01, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Wow! Gobsmacked![edit]

200,000 views a month. We've 1/8th as popular as Lady Gaga!

Tesspub (talk) 13:23, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

 :))))) --candyworm (talk) 19:19, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Recent edit by[edit]

Regarding this edit by IP editor, the two substantial changes are invalid:

In changing the opening phrase of

The essence of haiku is "cutting" (''kiru'').<ref name=Udo>Udo Kiyoko, President, Modern Haiku Association, quoted in [ Simply Haiku, Winter 2009]</ref>


One of the important aspects of haiku is "cutting"

she is changing the assertion from one supported by the citation to one that is not. I will revert.

In changing

Any one of the three phrases may end with the kireji.


Either one of the first two phrases may end with the kireji.

the editor is factually incorrect. I will revert and add a citation.--candyworm (walk) (talk) 23:11, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

What do you call someone who writes haiku?[edit]

According to the article it's "haikuist". I've never heard that term and online searches lead back here. According to my haiku-ey friends it's "haikujin" but I can't find any references for that either. Should we stick with "haiku poet"? Tesspub (talk) 14:32, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Another Japanese word might be haikusha, but I like "haiku poet". For the sake of comparison, what's the term for a person who specializes in sonnets or limmericks? Or are there particular terms? Boneyard90 (talk) 15:00, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Google Books search for haikuist reveals 709 results; for haikujin just 3 (plus a few where the word is part of of Japanese phrase); but the term I'm most familiar with, haijin, comes in with "about 3,000 results". --candyworm (walk) (talk) 15:37, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Google web search makes a pattern of similar proportions:
  • haikuist: About 69,500
  • haikujin: About 376
  • haijin: About 349,000
On the basis of the above results, it seems reasonable to use the term 'haijin' while explaining its meaning in the first instance. --candyworm (walk) (talk) 21:07, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Done that. BY, the term in English for an author of sonnets is sonneteer, for an author of odes, odist. Google finds "limerickist" 2,590 times, though I've never heard that term before. --candyworm (walk) (talk) 22:11, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm suddenly liking "haikuteer". Boneyard90 (talk) 02:34, 25 May 2011 (UTC)
Does that make us the Three Haikuteers? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tesspub (talkcontribs) 12:09, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

In the English-speaking world, the term of art is haijin. Simples. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:44, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

Myth of the origin of haiku?[edit]

I always thought this story (which I first encountered in the print collection Zen Flesh, Zen Bones) was a story about the origin of haiku. Another entry in the collection ( is an instruction for writing a Chinese poem, and the similarity of structure between the two (the idea of tying two elements together) seems evident. I don't know enough background info to comfortably include them in the article though. EllePollack (talk) 16:11, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

The origins of haiku are thoroughly documented. Read the article. --gråb whåt you cån (talk) 22:24, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Even if the writings I linked to have no truth to them, if it's commonly thought to be related and isn't, that might be worth mentioning. But I don't have the expertise to make that call, I'm just putting it out for the evaluation of anyone who might. EllePollack (talk) 04:21, 26 June 2011 (UTC)
The items you linked to don't even mention haiku. Do you have a reliable source to support your contention that there is a commonly-held belief in some such myth? --gråb whåt you cån (talk) 08:39, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Haiku operating[edit]

Hello Im writing haiku in Japanese and I live in Japan. Please help me to answer following questions:

1. Why the authors of the operating system Haiku considered OK to name their system by absolutely basic word of Japanese culture? Where`s the explanation about it in Wikipedia`s article?

2. Why many people started to use word Hokku to name Haiku? Did they do that AFTER reading English article about Haiku? Why history of Waka with term Hokku has concern to Japanese poem Haiku in the article? Why Russians refused from naming Haiku as Haiku and talk about Hokku, even TV?

3. Why there is no information about women haika who are writing haiku in English article? Haikago (talk) 04:40, 18 January 2012 (UTC)Haikugo

4. Is the term Haikujin OK?

5.Did you do the Lady Gaga Popularity Measure Converter of Wikipedia`s talks ? :) Haikago (talk) 04:52, 18 January 2012 (UTC)Haikago

Plural Haiku![edit]

I removed haiku plural In Japanese there is not plural or singular! Haikago (talk) 12:04, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

I reverted the edit. This is the English-language Wikipedia, and in English, there are plural forms. If a reader does not know Japanese, the need to know the "plural" form is perfectly valid.

Also, in English, haikus would also be a valid plural form. English grammar stipulates that for foreign loan words, if the language of origin does not have a plural form, then retaining the one form, or adding an -s, is valid (though Japanophiles might find this irksome). Thus, "two katana" or "two katanas" are both valid, though preference might be given the former if one is familiar with the original language. Same with "ninjas", "geishas", etc. Boneyard90 (talk) 13:28, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps it's not quite as clearcut as all that, BY. Yes, the English reader (who expects plurals to differ from singulars) needs to know how to express the word if there are more than one, but to state that haiku is the plural form is a little inaccurate. As in many borrowed Japanese words, there is no plural form; what we have is a common form (technically a "zero plural") which, just as in Japanese, does not distinguish as to grammatical number. See English_plural#Irregular_plurals_from_other_languages. BTW, there is no valid plural form haikus according to the American Heritage Dictionary, Funk & Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary, Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, Random House College Dictionary, Webster's New World Dictionary, Cassell's English Dictionary, and Concise Oxford Dictionary, per Garland Cannon's Zero Plurals among the Japanese Loanwords in English, in American Speech, Vol. 59, No. 2, pp. 149-158. --gråb whåt you cån (talk) 14:35, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
You're right, it is not clear-cut. I was not quoting a dictionary, but rather a more general guideline (I hate to say "rule", since there is flexibility and change in language) for English usage. I'll grant you that the form "haikus" is not used, but in other cases, an s is applied. For example, Random House and Collins English dictionaries both list "ninjas". For a more in-depth discussion of the issue, I recommend: Zero Plurals among the Japanese Loanwords in English, by Garland Cannon, though if you are familiar with the "zero plural" concept, then you may already have read the article. My point is, that while Japanese does not have a plural form (also not entirely accurate, e.g. -tachi/-dachi 達), English does, and as you said, the English-speaking Wikipedia reader who comes to this article may expect to learn how to correctly express "more than one haiku". Boneyard90 (talk) 17:59, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Contrary to what Bagworm asserts above, the AHD does include haikus as a plural form.Eric talk 12:34, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Dear Brian Thanks for your answer!

How about uncountable nouns

  • hope (e.g. There was never

a hope) ice information jam (Except when talking about traffic jams) knowledge lightning literature love luck luggage meat milk mist money music news noise oil oxygen paper (except when talking about academic papers) patience pay peace I mean English speakers dont say waters at least about the same water

For example \I drunk a lot of bear Why its wrong to say I wrote a book of haiku! Haiku is not a peace of sheet It is state of mind Why it must be countable! Respect Haikago (talk) 09:23, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, not sure what your question and/or comment is. Boneyard90 (talk) 13:32, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Many of the above examples are of concepts or fluid quantities. I propose to you a very common word: sheep. Murray Writtle.

The reader should expect to be told that the English plural of haiku is haiku. No serious practitioner calls it anything else. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:25, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

I have no passion for this article and don't intend to fix the awkward s-less haiku plurals. But I reiterate Boneyard's explanation. In English, words of foreign origin are normally pluralized by adding an s. Like poem, haiku is not a mass noun.

Haikus are not sand,
and do not flow like water,
but are countable.

Saying above is one of my finest haiku sounds like a yuppie wannabe French speaker asking a New York baker for three "croissant" (not pronouncing the s that should be there. It comes across as an affectation (= it sounds yucky). Eric talk 14:27, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

Removal of external links[edit]

I removed one link to a kigo dictionary that is only peripherally relevant to this article, and is already present on the Kigo page. I also removed one EL to a scholarly-looking article by Mario Petrucci that was short and did not provide a unique resource that would give additional information beyond what this article would if it was of FA-standard. I think there might be some merit in the article itself, however, so we should probably take what's good from it and cite Mr. Petrucci in the reference list. The link to his article is here. elvenscout742 (talk) 04:12, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

I removed another link that violated WP:ELNO in that it appeared to provide useful information, but did not have anything that could not be incorporated into the article itself. Also, it was an educational tool for English haiku, which already has a separate article. elvenscout742 (talk) 04:35, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Further article improvement? Just as a suggestion, short descriptive comments added to the links within the External Links section would be helpful. Maybe easier to do by someone else other than me. Dcattell (talk) 16:40, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Talk:Haiku in English[edit]

I just created a start/stub on Haiku in languages other than Japanese following comments at Talk:Haiku in English. Other editors may want to be informed as both the discussion there and my bold (but not that bold frankly) Haiku in languages other than Japanese article could affect this article. I am quite happy with any forking/merging solutions. In ictu oculi (talk) 07:44, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Simply Haiku and Frogpond as sources?[edit]

I have now been reverted twice in my attempt to remove these online poetry magazines from the bibliography.[1][2] "" is definitely out, so I was gonna remove that again, but could we not get a better source for the translation? Perhaps I could get an explanation why better sources than these cannot be found, as well? We have already seen that Simply Haiku, at least, has serious issues (Tanka prose would still be an article if Simply Haiku was a valid source). Konjakupoet (talk) 15:49, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for raising this discussion here. I'm all for reliable sources, but it seems to me that your standards are set unrealistically high. David Lanoue (Haiku Guy), though he does sometimes publish his own stuff online and in book form, probably due to the rather small market for Kobayashi Issa books, is I think one of the top Issa specialists outside of Japan. He has a PhD and teaches at a major university, so I'm not sure what the problem is in using him as a source just to attribute a poem to Issa, which is not really controversial. Haruo Shirane teaches at Columbia and is probably the top scholar in Japanese literature in the U.S. at this time. It's true the piece in question was published online, but if the link is stable and the authorship of the piece is not in doubt, what is the problem there? As for Frogpond, isn't the journal of the Haiku Society of America a legitimate source? Simply Haiku was also a refereed journal and rather popular in the field while it lasted. I wouldn't make any claims that all of the material in these journals is top-notch, but they do represent the more or less official views of the field, and I believe the citations were being used for that purpose (i.e. not to establish some obscure scholarly point that might need a more high-powered academic source). If you pull out these types of citations, I'm not sure there's much left at a higher level. So I think the standard you are applying here (and in some of your earlier Renga edits, is, if not unattainable, at least unrealistic. If you do have better sources, by all means put them in, but finding sources is a difficult and time consuming process, and no one here is getting paid to do it. It's not helpful to pull out functional references just because you think there ought to be a better source somewhere, particularly when content has been written in the first place based on a particular source that you are removing. In short, I'd much appreciate a reference crusade focused on adding new, better sources rather than removing sources that don't meet an unrealistic standard.--Icuc2 (talk) 01:11, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
I never meant any disrespect to any of these sources on their own merits, I just meant that with a subject like this we should be able to get the best of the best sources: not just written by experts, but published by well-known academic publishers. The Haiku Society of America is good, but they are ultimately all poets, not historians or critics. Nothing wrong with that, per se, but an encyclopedia should be using a different kind of source. Regarding Lanoue -- I'm sure he is an expert on Issa (I will admit that post-Basho haiku is the area of classical Japanese literature I know least about, myself), but if his translation of this particular poem can't be sourced to anything but his personal website, should we be quoting it verbatim in an encyclopedia article? Why can't we use a different poem, or the same poem as appearing in a book or academic journal? Konjakupoet (talk) 15:31, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
I would also prefer academic haiku scholarship, but there's just not that much of it. And it's unfair to assume that poets are incapable of decent scholarship. As for Lanoue's Issa poem, I would imagine he is working directly from Japanese sources, probably the Issa Zenshu. As it happens, I once had to track down a haiku in the Issa zenshu and it was not fun; it's thirteen fat volumes with no index to poems and an enormous number of haiku. I doubt there's more than half a dozen libraries in the U.S. that have that set. But even if you were to find it, would it really be helpful to use that as a reference? Only a minuscule percentage of English Wikipedia readers actually read Japanese. So I'm happy to defer to Lanoue that the poem is Issa's. The idea that a personal website is by definition unreliable seems to me unfair; if a site has credentialed authorship, longevity and a good reputation, and a Wikipedia editor thinks it is good enough to use, that seems adequate to me. In general, I'd still prefer a printed book by a reputable publisher, but that seems too limiting nowadays when traditional publishers are disappearing and online publication and self publication are taking up the slack. And actually Lanoue's site is probably a more useful source for people interested in Issa than some out of print book. As for using a different poem, well, that wouldn't be difficult, and if someone really dislikes Issa and Lanoue enough to find one, I wouldn't have an objection. But it's a nice haiku and good translation, so I wonder why anyone would bother.--Icuc2 (talk) 08:12, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Cleary Example[edit]

The text that begins "Brian P. Cleary's "Report Card" provides an excellent example of contemporary American haiku for children" is an opinion and does not belong on this page (especially the haiku example it offers). My opinion is that the poem is a very POOR example of haiku, whether for children or adults. I recommend removing the reference. The poem would never be published in any of the leading literary haiku journals. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:15, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Second Bashō translation edit?[edit]

I just noticed that the second Bashō example's translation could be edited in the third line from "a little coat of straw", containing 6 syllables, to "a little straw coat", containing 5, like as in the original Japanese, without changing any meaning. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:21, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Examples, numbers in brackets[edit]

Why does it say:

fu-ru-i-ke ya (7) ka-wa-zu to-bi-ko-mu (5) mi-zu-no-o-to (7)

rather than:

fu-ru-i-ke ya (5) ka-wa-zu to-bi-ko-mu (7) mi-zu-no-o-to (5)

?????? (6) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:30, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

Irrelevant items in See Also[edit]

The See Also section was becoming a dumping ground for anything with a vague connection to Japanese poetry or short verse forms in other languages. However, the scope of this article is limited simply to Haiku, mainly in Japan but with a brief survey of the spread of the form outside it. Short verse forms in Tamil and Chinese are therefore irrelevant. So also are other verse forms in Japanese (tanka, uta). These last can be linked to from the article when they arise and do not need to be repeated. Mzilikazi1939 (talk) 07:16, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Brief Notes on "Kire-ji", Association of Japanese Classical Haiku, retrieved 2008-10-16