International Haiku Poetry Day
International Haiku Poetry Day is observed next on Wednesday, April 17th, 2024 (138 days from today).
April 17th is International Haiku Poetry Day; an unofficial holiday in order to commemorate the short poetry form that originated in Japan.
International Haiku Poetry Day is a great initiative of the Haiku Foundation, celebrated Haiku Poetry, and an art form on April 17th every year. A haiku is an ancient form of Japanese poetry consisting of three lines with the "year seven" syllable structure although this is controversial as a Western way of teaching haiku. Japanese haikus also count sounds, not just syllables. Haikus often revolve around nature, the passage of seasons, or ephemeral beauty. To avoid from being your high school English teacher, images are more important than metaphors. They are also very concise due to their short length. Try this!
History of International Haiku Poetry Day
You can find the origin of International Haiku Poetry Day by tracing the origins of this form of poetry.
In origin, Haiku was considered to be the beginning for a form of Japanese poetry known as Rengu. It was not until the mid-1600s of Hokku that the Haiku form found at this time was considered to be independent of its original form, Renga, and its Renku origin.
In the late 1800s, Hokku was changed into Haiku when it appeared separately by Masaoka Shiki, the famous Japanese poet, author and literary critic. Although Shiki, one of the first great Haiku Masters, lived only 35 short years, he is credited with writing almost 20,000 stanzas, which is quite an achievement.
Matsuo Bashō and Ueshima Onitsura are two masters responsible for improving Haiku to an independent art form. These two people are considered Poetry Masters and play an important role in Haiku promotion so that it was appreciated and understood, even outside of Renku's original setting. To Haiku's history, Basho is so important that he was considered a 'Prayer' 100 years after his death.
Therefore, how did Haiku come to the West? The person responsible for this (and thus it appears in the school textbooks) is not a Dane named Hendrik Doeff. As a commissioner of commerce in Nagasaki in the 19th century, he fell in love with the art of oriental poetry. Although he tried to bring it to the West on his own, it was not generally well received at first. In fact, it was not until the early to mid-1900s that Haiku appeared in the English language.
No matter where they come from and which language they use to speak, Haiku is one of those places where the number of syllables used in a poem can serve as the framework for some of the most beautiful works of art ever conceived. International Haiku Poetry Day is just the day for Haiku Poetry’s celebration and appreciation!
How to Celebrate International Haiku Poetry Day
- Attend an event
The Haiku Foundation holds many events on this day, such as readings, exhibitions, and competitions. It also sponsors the Haiku Haiku Film Festival, the Earthrise Rolling Haiku Collaboration, and several international meetings.
- Read classics
Matsuo Bashō was born in 1644 and then died at his 50 years old. He is considered as the greatest haiku poet in all time. Let spend time to read his work to understand what can happen and set your standards high.
- Write your own!
Anyone can write haiku - although writing a good one is difficult. Look at examples online for inspiration, and try reading a few sentences aloud to get a sense of fluency. Share your work using the hashtag #HaikuPoetryDay and remember to tag us @NatlToday!
ObservedInternational Haiku Poetry Day has been observed annually on April 17th.
Sunday, April 17th, 2022
Monday, April 17th, 2023
Wednesday, April 17th, 2024
Thursday, April 17th, 2025
Friday, April 17th, 2026
Sari Grandstaff in 2007