Modern Haiku

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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Haiku as sketching

An account of modern Japanese haiku inevitably begins with Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) and the group of poets who in different ways became his followers. By the late nineteenth century, haiku had become a backward-looking tradition, in which poets aimed at displaying their knowledge of old conventions. This tradition was still named by the premodern term haikai, and although Shiki did not coin the word, it was through his advocacy that both the genre and the poems started to be referred to as “haiku”. Shiki did not discard the tradition; his aim was rather to refresh its topics and means of expression. Most of his poems were composed in the traditional format, that is they included a reference to one of the four seasons and followed the rhythmical pattern of 5-7-5 on

4188 words

Citation: Jonsson, Herbert. "Modern Haiku". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 September 2019 [, accessed 21 May 2024.]

19528 Modern Haiku 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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