Japan: Its Culture and Heritage
Japanese Poetry

Kinds of poetry

Choka "Long poem" (5-7-5-7-7 / 5-7-5-7-7...)

Tanka "Short poem" (5-7-5-7-7 syllables)*

Nigitazu ni
Funanori semu to
Tsuki mateba
Shio mo kanainu
Ima wa kogi ide na
While at Nigitazu we await the moon
to put our ships to sea,
With the moon the tide has risen;
Now let us embark! (Man'yoshu, 1:8)

Haiku (5-7-5 syllables):

Samidare ya
Aru yo hisoka ni
Matsu no tsuki

Early summer rain
Faint one evening
The moon among the pines (of waiting)

Matsu can mean both "pine" and "wait," and is a kakekotoba (pivot word).

Other important poetry terminology/elements:

Makura kotoba "Pillow Word":

Seasonal reference: