History of Haiku

This essay has a total of 433 words and 3 pages.

History of Haiku


In Japan, short poems have a long history. The earliest Japanese poetry such as that of
the Manyoshu, written in 759 A.D., includes stirring narrative, dramatic and short lyrical
poems which scholars believe were originally written as part of the pre-Buddhist or early
Shinto ceremonial rituals (Haiku). This anthology includes anonymous songs and prayers
designed to celebrate and pacify the gods, prayers for safe voyages, formal eulogies on
the death of an Emperor or Empress and courting, marriage, planting and harvesting
rituals.


The 5 syllable, 7 syllable, 5 syllable haiku has evolved and been reinvented many times
over the centuries. One such form is the 31 syllable waka composed of five 5-7-5-7-7
syllable phrases. Developed as the early imperial court of the late eighth century
consolidated cultural, social and political forms, the waka took its place as one of the
important regularized poetic forms of the period. Within imperial circles, minor officials
and scribes gained recognition as poem-providers and word specialists due to their ability
to compose waka (Haiku).


Nevertheless, early Japanese poetry went beyond official usage. In the 14th century, an
intellectual game developed where one person would write the first half
Continues for 2 more pages >>




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