Haiku – What Is The History Behind Haiku? (Answers)

Answers To The Question: What is The History of Haiku

HAIKU – in this article we will learn about the history and significance of the haiku.

A haiku is a Japanese poem consisting of seventeen syllables. They are done in three lines of five, seven, and five syllables.

Haiku - What Is The History Behind Haiku? (Answers)
Image by: Litkicks.com

“In the light of day”
“The darkness shall fade away”
“As hope soon begins”

During the Heian period of Japanese culture, it was a social necessity to be able to distinguish Japanese and Chinese poetry. One must be able to appreciate and recite it in an instant.

It was around this era that short forms of poetry (tanka) grew in popularity over the long ones (choka). The lifestyle the people had translated into art.

In this time, every poem had to be in a specific form. This approved form would be the popular 5-7-5 format.

Following this, renga (linked verses) were developed. The kusari-no-renga (chains of linked verse) were developed as well.

According to litkicks, these forms were used often almost as parlor games for the elite. However, there began a rise of “peasant” poetry in the mid-sixteenth century.

It was at that moment that Japanese poetry began its rebirth. The rigid and staid forms from the past era were replaced with lighter tones.

This new form was known as haikai and was renamed to renku. Haikai included a starting triplet called hokku. This was considered the key part of the poem.

It had 2 crucial requirements. The writer must have a seasonal word (kireji) as well as a cutting word or exclamation.

Then there came a poet by the name of Basho. He integrated a new sensibility and sensitivity to the form in the late seventeenth century.

Haiku - What Is The History Behind Haiku? (Answers)

Basho remolded the poetics and changed hokku into an independent poem. This type of poem was later know as the “Haiku”.

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