Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I was once told that haiku should be "padded" so that instead of 5/7/5, they fit an 8/8/8 meter:

■■■■■□□□ ← wait for 3 beats after this line
■■■■■■■□ ← wait for 1 beat after this line
■■■■■□□□ ← wait for 3 beats after this line

If I recall correctly, the explanation was that Japanese favors rhythms in groups of 4 or 8 beats (morae). I don't actually know if haiku are read this way, though--it's just something I was told once.

Are haiku actually read aloud with these pauses? Or is this something my friend made up?

share|improve this question
1  
Holy crap, I do this automatically and I never noticed it. –  Sjiveru Dec 22 '13 at 1:21

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes, I think you'd read it as:

■■■■■□□□
■■■■■■■□ 
■■■■■□□□

for 5/7/5 like かたつむり・・・ where the middle line can be split into 4+3(e.g.: トウキョウ・ナゴヤ).
And you'd read it as:

■■■■■□□□  
□■■■■■■■ 
■■■■■□□□ 

for 5/7/5 like 静かさや・・・ where the middle line sounds better when split into 3+4(e.g.: カワズ・トビコム).

And you'd probably read it as:

■■■■■□□□  
■■■■■■■■ 
■■■■■□□□ 

for 5/8/5, like 8/5/8/5/8/5... :D(唱歌・カタツムリ童謡・鳩より)

share|improve this answer
4  
wwwwちょこれーと東京名古屋かたつむり。最高のアンサーだわ、これw –  Darius Jahandarie Dec 22 '13 at 3:09
2  
いい俳句が思いつかなかったんで・・・^^; –  Choko Dec 22 '13 at 4:19
1  
Yup! And according to this book (p171, 2.14 Rhythm in "Haiku"), that also explains why 「ニッポン」, rather than 「にほん」, is used for cheering. –  Noir May 22 at 8:27
    
Interesting. Are there any recorded examples of this out there? –  Roy Fuentes May 22 at 17:51
2  
@RoyFuentes I recorded my reading on Vocaroo and pasted the links up here. For more... how about this 百人一首 読み上げ, not the same words/songs, though. –  Choko May 23 at 9:31

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.