HAIKU MASTERS is a NHK WORLD TV program
and we are looking for HAIKU MASTERS from around the world.
Our Photo Haiku Guidelines
1. three-line haiku
Ideally, we would like you to maintain the original form or rhythm of haiku, which is 17 morae divided into 3 phrases of five, seven and five. This traditional form creates a certain rhythm that has been a part of the Japanese culture for a very long time. For example, the rhythm you often hear at festivals in Japan, “ Do, Don Ga Don”, is a rhythm that you don’t hear in Latin America or Africa. It is a rhythm used in Bon Odori, or the Bon Festival dance, and much like the 5, 7, 5 rhythm and breath, it is a rhythm that the Japanese are very comfortable with. But when written in English, this same rhythm and logic may not apply and thus we think it might be better to just have a guideline which says the haiku need only be written in three lines.
2. fusoku-furi / not too far, not too close
In order to achieve fusoku-furi where the haiku is not too far and not too close to the photo, the haiku cannot be just a description of the photo. The haiku must add a different layer of emotion or viewpoint. Photos always have something that they lack. For example, sound, smell, touch or taste. By adding an element that you don’t see in the photo, you achieve a different dimension. So always make sure to write about the emotions that surround the photo.
Ideally, you want to express the seasonality in either your photo or haiku. However, you do not have to be so literal with your expression such as by taking a photo of something that literally resembles spring nor do you have to use a Kigo such as spring or Ume in your three line haiku. There are many ways to express the seasonality. Just pay attention to your surroundings and express what you see or feel right in front of you.
Selection of the
"Haiku Master of the Month"
on Each Episode
"Haiku Master of the Month"
on Each Episode
Our selection process
Our Haiku Masters &
- Michio Nakahara
Born in 1951.
Nakahara has won numerous awards including the 13th Best Newcomer Award from the Association of Haiku Poets in 1989 and the 33rd Association of Haiku Poets Award in 1993.
Nakahara established “Ginka”, his very own Haiku society in 1998 and now lives in Chiba, Japan ridding himself of all digital devices.
- Kit Pancoast Nagamura
Born in the United States, Kit has lived in Japan for more than 25 years.
A photographer, editor, and author of six books, Kit pens several columns, including "The Backstreet Stories" for the Japan Times, and has won various fiction and poetry awards, including a Major Hopwood Award, and a recent prize in the ITO EN Oi Ocha haiku contest.
- Toshio Kimura
- Born in Tokyo, Japan, Toshio is a haiku poet and a professor of English literature and comparative literature at Nihon University, Japan. An avid haiku lover since his younger days, Toshio studied under the haiku poet Jyushin Takayanagi when he was a college student. Toshio is a member of the World Haiku Association and his haiku collections include In the Distance (2001) and Little Brier Rose (2010). He has also penned many books including Haiku in Drawing.
- Marie Mariya
- Marie Mariya is a haiku poet, literary critic, translator, and serves as on the executive committee of Haiku International Association and as a member of the Association of Haiku Poets. Her writing includes a book of criticism, One Grain of Cosmos (shortlisted for A.H.P. Award for criticism in 2016) and a collection of haiku that was shortlisted for the Haidan Award in 2014. Marie explores haiku from an international standpoint. Her critical essays appear serially in major haiku periodicals.
- Megumi Moriyama
- Born in Tokyo, Megumi Moriyama is a poet, English haiku poet, and translator. She is the author of four full-length books of poetry, of which the fourth, Misaki Misakyoku was shortlisted for The Japan Poets Club Prize for New Poets in 2015. She was also selected as a New Poet by Gendaishi Techo, the major poetry periodical in Japan. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Megumi is a current member of the Japan Poets Association and a lecturer at Shukutoku University Extension Center.
- Takashi Yasui
- Takashi Yasui, founder of the photographic media RECO. Takashi started photography in 2010 and instantly gained a large following through Instagram where he met and collaborated with photographers in and outside of Japan. Turning professional in January, 2015, Takashi collaborates with corporate brands and artists continuing on his path to find his own style of photography.
- Uruma TAKEZAWA
- Born in 1977, it was in the Okinawa Islands where Uruma was first exposed to the power of photography. After working as a photographer for a publisher specializing in underwater photography Uruma broke off on his own in 2004. In March, 2010, he embarked on a world-wide journey that lasted 1,021 days spanning over 103 countries. The name “Uruma” means “coral islands” in the Okinawan dialect.