One sentence


- One sentence - one image/theme hokku -

. WKD : One Sentence Haiku - one line .
General Introduction.

. Basho and his use of cut markers 切字  .

One Theme Hokku
see below

All the hokku that end with the cut marker KANA in line 3 represent one sentence, finished with the "!".
Other hokku end the last line with KERI.
Most of these hokku keep the form of the three segments 5 7 5.

You can find them for now in the ABC files of this archive,
searching for KANA.

If I find the time I will list them here later.

under construction

- quote -
Traces of Dreams - The Single Object Poem
by Haruo Shirane

In response to Kyoriku’s emphasis on the “combination poem” and his claim that combining separate topics was the central technique of the Basho style, Kyorai argued that, although combining was certainly important, it did not take precedence over other techniques and that Basho also composed “single-object” (ichibutsu shitate) poems, which focused on a single topic and in which the hokku flowed smoothly from start to finish, without the leap or gap found in the combination poem. In Kyoraisho, he noted:

The Master said:
"A hokku that moves smoothly from the opening five syllables to the end is a superb verse.”

Shado remarked: “The master once told me, ‘The hokku is not, as you believe, something that brings together two or three different things. Compose the hokku so that it flows like gold being hit and flattened by a hammer.’” . . .

Kyorai: “If a poet composes by combining separate things, he can compose many verses and composed them quickly. Beginning poets should know this. But when one becomes an accomplished poet, it is no longer a question of combining or not combining. (NKBZ 51: 498)29
In Travel Lodging Discussion (Taibneron; 1699), Kyorai even went so far as to say that all hokku are single-object poems.

Generally speaking, all hokku focus on a single object. Allow me to explain and give some examples. First of all, the following verse is on a single object.

warmly wrapped
in its feathered robe––
feet of the wild duck

––the late Master

kegoromo | ni | tsutsumite | kamo | no | ashi
feathered-robe | in | wrap | warm | wild-duck | ‘s | feet

They say that the Master took delight in this poem and told Shiko, “This hokku was deliberately composed on a single object.” Other examples include:

well, then,
let us go snow-viewing
until we tumble over!

––the late Master

iza | saraba | yukimi | ni | korobu | tokoro | made
well | then | snow-viewing | for | tumble | place | until

its beautiful face––
the pheasant’s spurs


utsukushiki | kao | kaku | kiji | no | kezume | kana
beautiful | face | scratch | pheasant | ‘s | spurs | !

Someone might say that the “feet of the wild duck” and “the feathered robe” form a combination or that the poet combines “the pheasant’s spurs” with “face,” but what could they say “snow-viewing” was combined with? When the late Master spoke about combining objects, he appeared to make a distinction between those that worked within the boundary and those that worked outside it. Kyoriku, it seems, defined the combination poem as something that went outside the boundary. But there are poems that combine within the boundary just as there are those that combine without.

gradually takes shape––
moon and plum blossoms

––the late Master

These poems all combine within the boundary. (KHT 10:206-7)

Kyorai was arguing that since the combination poem can be composed quickly and relatively easily, it is suited for beginners, but that the more accomplished poet will not be limited to this particular technique. Furthermore, a number of good combination poems, especially impromptu ones, remain within the “boundary” or circle of established poetic associations. In Kyoraisho (NKBZ 51: 498), Kyorai suggested that beginners should compose distant combinations: as Kyoriku pointed out, going outside the established boundary makes it easier to find new material and avoid plagiarism. The rule, however, does not apply to accomplished poets who, as Basho’s examples suggest, can either discover new connections within the boundary of established associations or approach the traditional associations in new ways. For example, “spring,” “moon,” and “plum blossoms,” which appear together in Basho’s hokku, were closely associated in classical poetry, especially as a result of The Tale of Genji, where the scent of the plum blossoms in the light of the misty evening moon represented one of the beauties of spring.
The haikai character of Basho’s hokku lay not in the combination, which was purely classical, but in the manner of the expression, especially in the rhythm. The middle phrase––which comes to a slow stop, ending on three, drawn out, successive “o” sounds, the last sliding into the vowel “u”–– suggests the gradual vernal movement that brings together the moon and the plum blossoms.

In contrast to the combination poem, which combined different topics, a single-object poem focused on a single topic, but on closer examination even single-object poems can usually be broken down into two parts, consisting of a traditional seasonal topic, which established a horizon of expectations, and the description or presentation, which often worked against those expectations. A good example is the “wild duck” hokku cited above, which Basho composed in Edo in the winter of Genroku 6 (1693-94) and which Kyorai considered a single-object poem. In the classical tradition, the wild duck (kamo) was often found floating on a winter pond or ocean, and its figure and voice were associated with loneliness, longing for home, uncertainty, and, most of all, with coldness. In a haikai reversal, this wild duck appears “warm” (nukushi), its feel tucked beneath its “feathered robe” (kegoromo). The circular movement, the “going and returning,” in such a single-object poem occurs not between the two parts of the hokku so much as between the implied topic (wild duck) and the unusual, haikai-esque approach, between the text and the horizon of expectations raised by the seasonal topic.

Both the combination and the single-object approach had a profound influence on the course of modern haiku. Both Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) and his successor Takahama Kyoshi (1874-1959) pressed for mimetic poetry, which tended to focus on a single object that could be depicted directly, through the senses. On the other hand, the notion of the combination poem found new life with other modern poets. In the Taisho period (1912-26), for example, Osuga Otsuji (1881-1920) stressed the importance of placing the cutting word or the break in the middle of the haiku, thereby causing the part with the seasonal word to interact with the other half. In the Showa period Yamaguchi Seishi (1910-94), harking back to Basho and spurred on by the notion of Eisenstein’s montage (re-imported to Japan), believed that haiku should focus on the interrelationship between different objects of nature, a relationship that must “leap beyond” the predictable.

- - - - - Haruo Shirane
- source : books.google.co.jp - (pages 111-114) -



. yuku haru o Oomi no hito to oshimikeru .

spring is departing
and with the people (friends) of Omi
I lament its passing . . .

Here Basho chooses to use the first line to end with o to show that the sentence is continuing.

He does not end line 1 with the more frequently used cut marker YA

yuku haru ya.

He must have his reasons to write one sentence with three segments 5 7 5 for this special occasion.


aki no iro nukamiso tsubo mo nakarikeri

not even a pot
in the colors of autumn
for fermented miso paste

. hatsu yuki ni usagi no kawa no hige tsukure .
(winter) first snow. rabbit, fur. beard
Basho makes a snowman with the children of Iga.

. shio-dai no haguki mo samushi uo no tana .
cold gums of the sea bream in the fish shop

yo ga fuuga wa karo toosen no gotoshi .
(winter) handfan in winter. my elegance. fireplace in summer
same as - no gotoshi


. sakazuki no shita yuku kiku ya Kitsuki bon .
sakazuki no shita yuku kiku NO Kitsuki bon

Here the cut marker YA can be replaced by NO to make it one sentence.


. sakuragari kidoku ya hibi ni go ri roku ri .
The cut marker YA is in the middle of line 2 - all about "hunting for cherry blossoms2

suzushisa o / waga yado ni shite / nemaru nari

. tsuki nomi ka ame ni sumoo mo nakarikeri .
no moon and no Sumo at Tsuruga beach


. uguisu ya take no ko yabu ni oi o naku .
the uguisu sings of his old age in a bamboo grove

more TBA


. WKD : One Sentence Haiku - one line .


Haiku and hokku with one theme, one scene

. WKD : ichibutsu jitate  一物仕立て 
haiku with only one theme .

They come with or without a cut marker.

The most famous one is the old pond hokku

. furu ike ya kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto .
(spring) frog. old pond, frog jumps, sound of water

- - - - -

. kono atari me ni miyuru mono wa mina suzushi .
all that meets the eye here is cool

むざんやな 甲の下の きりぎりす
. muzan ya na kabuto no shita no kirigirisu .
(autumn) grasshopper, in memory of the helmet of Saito Sanemori 斉藤実盛
The cut marker YA before the end of line 1 works like an exclamation mark.
How pitiful!

. samidare o atsumete hayashi Mogamigawa .
(summer) rain during the rainy season, river Mogamigawa 最上川, Hiraizumi

. shio ni shite mo iza kotozuten Miyako-dori .
(winter) hooded gull. pickled in salt. message

. tooki yori aware wa tsuka no sumiregusa / sumire-gusa .
(spring) violet. pitiful. Angelica-type parsley. his grave mound
On the death of his disciple Kondoo Romaru 近藤呂丸 / 露丸.


. WKD : One Sentence Haiku - one line .

. WKD : ichibutsu jitate  一物仕立て 
haiku with only one theme .