7 Things You Didn’t Know About Japan

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Some parts of Japan sell fortune cookies for good luck for the New Year.

Haiku

Japan has the shortest form of poetry in the world – the haiku. A haiku consists the only three lines in the poem, and the lines have five, seven and five syllables, respectively.



Writing haiku began in Japan 700 years ago as tanka, a type of poetic writing that followed a progression: the first writer wrote the first verse, a “hokku” in the 5-7-5 pattern, and other authors wrote subsequent verses until the poem was complete. Today’s contemporary version of the haiku is credited to Masaoka Shiki in the late 1800s. Haiku made its way to other countries, and became popular in America in the 1960s because of beat poets like Jack Kerouac.



Ready to write a few haiku yourself? Your goal when writing haiku is to create a simplistic, zen-like quality that will convey the essence of your topic.

haiku

Pure haiku must include a kigo, a reference to the natural world, and must be able to stand alone with meaning, but you can be a bit more flexible and experiment with your haiku, as long as the meaning is clear without additional verses. Try to honor the 5-7-5 guideline!



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