Gendai Haiku
Project Notes
Précis Translation Technology


The history of gendai haiku (contemporary Japanese haiku) is a story still largely unknown and untold in cross-cultural contexts. The main purpose of this site has been to make available, if in a modest way, some of these resources.

Through the horrors, persecutions and travails of war, the postwar gendai movement arose as a phoenix, brimming with vitality and rooted in freedom of expression — creatively mixing ancient with contemporary aesthetics, language and philosophy. This combination if not fusion of ancient, abiding roots with radical contemporary vision is perhaps unique among existing poetic genres. The necessary innovations required of its artists in advancing while honoring the tradition are often brilliant, as can be seen in the video materials and poetic selections.

Such questions as how a nature poetics might deal with urban contexts, species extinction, globalization, mechanzed war — and, questions of the relevance of haiku (if not poetry) to modernity are implicity addressed by these poets, often in a novel manner: Hoshinaga's indigenous mytho-animistic conception of kotodama shinkô, Tsubouchi's linguistic concept of katokoto, and Hasegawa's 'world of mind,' may hopefully offer new avenues of insight for haiku, ecocriticism, and literature as a whole.


Interviews were conducted in Japanese with an interpreter present for technical clarification, transcribed into Japanese, and are gradually being co-translated into English, with the help of the haiku poets Itô Yûki (Ph.D. cand., Kumamoto University) & Takke Kanemitsu (haikaishi, Kumamoto). I wish to acknowlege their dedicated and often inspired efforts. The videos and text translations here represent many hours of labor.  
As well, I wish to acknowlege Professor Masahiro Hori, Kumamoto Gakuen University, whose guidance has been instrumental to this research.


Please contact me if you would like to create a video subtitle in an additional language: subtitles are in .srt format and can be translated into many languages, using Subtitle Workshop (free).

Book & DVD  

The full archive is now online. Additional interviews materials will continue to be posted.



The videos on the site are Flash-based and were tested on Windows 95 and up, Mac OSX 10.3 and up, and Linux. These videos will not play on Mac OS9. Be sure you have updated your computer video and audio codecs. In Windows, the K-Lite Codec Pack - Full is a free download.

Downloads & Quicktime Play  

IMPORTANT If you're not familiar with techspeak like “mp4 codec,” before you attempt to download the .mp4 video files below, and play them, please try these steps:  
I use the K-Lite Codec Pack - Full codecs. A free, self-installing download. K-Lite puts a "Media Player Classic" icon on your desktop. This freeware player will play the videos (and Windows Media Player will as well). Right-click on a .mp4 link below & select "Save link as." Open with Media Player or Media Player Classic, after installing the K-Lite Codec Pack.

Some users are reporting problems. Please update to Quicktime v7.1.6, and try using the VLC player. 'Control+click' the link, then select "download linked file". Open with the VLC (or other) Player.

Return to Contents
gendai haiku  

Additional Research  

Download Videos
Uda Kiyoko  
Women & Postwar Gendai Haiku  [10:51; 26.8Mb]  
    A Haiku Ecology 1  [4:18; 17.0Mb]  
    A Haiku Ecology 2  [5:18; 13.0Mb]  
Hasegawa Kai  
    Intro. to Realism & Bashô  [4:50; 12.2Mb]
    Cutting Through Time & Space [10:40; 27.0Mb]

Hoshinaga Fumio  
    Kotodama Shinkô  [8:25; 21.5Mb]
    Becoming Divine   [4:13; 10.0Mb]

Tsubôchi Nenten  
    Katakoto  [2:07; 5.0Mb]
    Haiku Persona & Shiki  [6:07; 15.0Mb]

Ônishi Yasuyo (Gendai Senryû)  
    History & Significance  [6:25; 16.3Mb]
    Parsing the Two Genres  [3:40; 9.0Mb]

Yagi Mikajo  
    Avant-garde: Tasting the Era  [2:31; 6.1Mb]

Mp4 Codecs
Vid. x.264

Author attribution:
Richard Gilbert, “Cross-cultural Studies in Gendai Haiku.”
Gendai Haiku Online Archive (2014). Kumamoto University, Japan <>.

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons 3.0 Licensed
Freely download, share & copy;
not for commerical gain.