HAIKU - the poetry of silence


Creating Haiku is simply to be in the now and express what we see, feel the season we are in, as to connect with nature, objects and ourselves, creating consciousness moment.


What is Haiku?

What Haiku brings us?

What is Haiku moment?


I am going to explore the answers deeper in this article.





“Haiku”, a short Japanese poetry form, consisting of patterns of 5+ 7+ 5=17 syllables, incorporating “Kigo”- the symbolic word that represents the season. 


Haiku originates from Renga which started in the 13th century and evolved since. The form of Haiku was mastered and perfected by Matsuo Basho (松尾芭蕉) in the 17th century.


Here is one of Basho's famous Haiku.

古池や Fu-ru i-ke ya  (5)

蛙 飛び込む Ka-wa-zu to-bi-ko-mu (7)

水の音 mi-zu no o-to (5)


Old pond,

Frogs jumped in,

Sound of water

(Translation by Lafcadio Hearn)


A forgotten old pond, possibly with green moss (stillness and death), suddenly, a frog or frogs jumps in, the sound breaks the silence (movement - life force). 

We can develop further in the interpretation. It is also free to make your own interpretation, imagination, as the same way to appreciate works of art.


What Haiku brings us?

The answer is the union with nature and the universe.


Japanese traditional cultural rituals such as Tea ceremony is the ultimate form and discipline to create the union with nature, objects and ourselves, as "Nature is our Master".

To unite with nature, humbly follow the law of nature - it is deep-rooted in our Japanese DNA.


With Haiku, we express what we see in a natural, simple, minimal, direct way, without a judgment - things as it is. It brings profound interpretation to each reader, leaving space for imagination.


First, we select a word what we see, select the suitable "kigo" the symbol of the season and combine them with stillness and movement. 

In this process, we connect ourselves with nature, object and with the universe, in a similar way as we practice tea ceremony, or making art. 


" Nature is my master" 

Jiro Inagaki (1933-2008), Japanese Artist said to his fellow Dutch Artist, Ad Arma.

Ad warmly recalls his time with Jiro san and what he shared and learned from him. Ad continue to his master.


Every day, take some moments to breathe, feel the air, feel the rain, feel the wind, feel the sun, light, and shadow.


Acknowledge them, embrace them. Embrace ourselves, our rainy day, our sunny day.


In Japan, for example, June is the month with gentle rain falls with humidity, a rather sluggish feel, called Tsuyu season, Ajisai (Hydrangea) blooming in the rain, with a little snail on its leaf. This is the month in-between the fresh green of May, and the striking blue under hot strong sun of July.


Here in Europe, the darkness of winter fades away and the sun starts lighting us up, bringing a feeling of optimism, every day. We celebrate and welcome the sunshine and enjoy the long evening under the bright sky till the night falls.


See the sky on the midsummer day, shining so long, however, there is a mystic stillness.

On the day of midsummer -summer solstice, observe the sky as the longest day ends.

Perhaps, we may capture the stillness in the sky, like this art.


Even from your daily ritual of drinking coffee, sometimes, you would just put your attention to your coffee. You could make your version of Haiku. You would pay attention to your coffee: here it is, coffee, it wakes me up, energies me, the deep color, the intense taste, nutty fragrance, etc, etc.... 

The most important thing is to create a simple moment(s) to pay attention, raise your awareness and consciousness and connect with your surroundings and nature. Make it your routine to feel the bliss- your Haiku Moment - be in the NOW, purely see things as it is, as you are. 


by Azumi Uchitani


The art works of Jiro Inagaki is available for viewing at Japanese Salon.

If you wish to learn more about Haiku and the Japanese art, please email me.