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Haiku workshop (by Lisa)

天神 Tenjin

Hello, my name is Lisa and I’m currently doing an internship at SUiTO FUKUOKA.

Some days ago I have entered the world of Japanese poetry by participating at the “haiku-course for beginners”, a workshop organized by SUiTO FUKUOKA with two haiku experts from “The Forest of Literature Co., Ltd.”. After being organized in small groups of 3-4 people, the experts started with an introduction of haiku. With the help of several examples (due to furigana, I was able to quickly translate all unfamiliar words with my smartphone dictionary), they explained the main principles: A haiku is a short poem consisting of 17 syllables, which are split in three lines following the rhythm 5-7-5.
Each haiku consists of at least one characteristic word corresponding to a season (spring, summer, autumn, winter). Other elements like greetings, improvisation and humor enrich the poem with diversity and personal marks. It is recommended to use the particles “ya” (や), “kana” (かな) and “keri” (けり) to emphasize words.

Next, the challenging part began. Each participant had to compose two haikus. Because of my beginner’s level at Japanese, I extensively looked up words with my smartphone dictionary and eventually finished my first haikus:
水溜り、水気と寒さ、雨の音 (a puddle, dampness and cold, the sound of rain)
明るい日、新た色香、緑山 (a bright day, a new scent, green mountains)
The other participants were way more skilled at creating humorous and authentic haikus. Everybody had to choose the two most appealing poems. One of the most popular was about food:
リゾットの、チーズふつふつ、薄紅葉 (risotto cheese bubbling, light autumn colors)
Afterwards, the professionals shared their impression of each haiku and counseled the new poets. I really enjoyed this workshop!

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