News and Announcements

(Message from Amy Ostenso and Phillip Kennedy
Asilomar Conference Registration Coordinators)
Greeting Asilomar 2015 Participants:
This year, as part of our 40th Anniversary celebrations, we have a very special treat!
Our esteemed guest, Emiko Miyashita from Tokyo, will conduct a Traditional Kukai for us at Asilomar. We are asking each conference participant to submit 2 haiku for the Traditional Kukai. We also request that everyone please submit their haiku entries by Friday, October 16th, 2015, in advance of the conference, so that a typed list of everyone’s submissions is available for everyone to vote on at the retreat.
Please use the following guidelines for submitting your entries for the Traditional Kukai:
  • Send your entries via email to Mimi Ahern at
  • As Subject, type Kukai 2015 and your name (i.e. Kukai 2015 [your name here])
  • In the email Body, type 2 haiku followed by your name beneath the 2nd haiku
  • Use Arial font, size 10 points
  • Entries are due by October 16th

During the retreat, we will also have a second, more informal kukai for haiku that we write during our stay at Asilomar. We look forward to seeing you at Asilomar!


This year, 2015, marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society (YTHS).  There will be many celebrations and events honoring this occasion.  Patricia Machmiller has created a one-page calendar of the currently planned special events, beautifully illustrated with one of her pen-and-ink drawings.   Here is a link to it.


One of our members, June Hymas, has undertaken the authoring of a pictorial daily blog to celebrate each day of this year in pictures and poetry of YTHS.  You can link to her blog here.


In late November or early December YT Members will be receiving their free copy of the 40th Anniversary Members’ Anthology, The Plover and the Moonstone. If you wish to purchase additional copies for the pre-publication price of $11 per book plus $5 for postage (domestic) or $25 (international), please send requests with a check on an American bank to:

Patricia Machmiller
6116 Dunn Avenue
San Jose, CA 95123

You may also send your request through PayPal at If you are planning on attending the Haiku Retreat in November, there is no need to pay postage as you will be able to pick up your extra copies at that time.



For this new feature of the website, each member of the Society can provide up to ten haiku, and/or seven haiga for presentation. The presence of the poems and photos/art will allow viewers to understand the tenor and range of YTHS haiku and haiga.

Each member is invited to submit, by email or snail mail, haiku and haiga for posting on the website under the poet’s name. Poets may choose from their whole corpus, works that they would be happy to share with YTHS members and web viewers. For more guidelines and details, see the Haiku Poets’ Pages and the Haiga Poets’ Pages.


One of the tenets of haiku aesthetics that the Yuki Teikei Society honors, is the importance of the use kigo, or season words in English language haiku. Robert Wilson, a prominent editor and critic of haiku and allied forms has recently published a treatise strongly supporting the use of season words in all haiku. See it the on-line journal, Simply Haiku, at this link. (See our publication that elaborates on San Francisco Bay area season words at this link.)



The Yuki Teikei Haiku Society (YTHS) was founded in San Jose, California, in 1975 by Mr. Kiyoshi Tokutomi and Mrs. Kiyoko Tokutomi. The purpose of the founders was to nourish and foster the art of writing haiku in English using the traditional guidelines developed by haiku poets in Japan. As explained by Mrs. Tokutomi, in Japanese “Yu” means ‘having’, “Ki” means ‘season’, “Tei” means ‘formal’, and “Kei” means ‘pattern’. Therefore in the founders’ view, “yuki teikei” haiku, with a season word and utilizing the three-line 5-7-5 pattern of syllables, are the proper rendering of the haiku form in English. Under the leadership of Mr. and Mrs. Tokutomi the Society took root in San Jose, and presently has grown to an international organization of about 90 poets.

It is one of the most active English language haiku societies. The Society meets monthly for haiku writing and study; it publishes a bi-monthly work/study journal, GEPPO, an annual anthology, and other publications including the highly regarded book Young Leaves. The Society celebrates traditional Japanese haiku-writing holidays including Tanabata, moon-viewing, and cherry blossom viewing.

A notable achievement of the Society has been the establishment of an annual haiku retreat at the lovely and historic Asilomar Seashore and Conference Center on the Pacific shore of the Monterey Peninsula. The Society continues to value the principles of the founders and their insights into how haiku should be written in English, while continuing to receive guidance from historical and evolving Japanese practices.

A number of the members use the 5-7-5 syllables as their preferred form of the English haiku, and it is the required form for submissions to the Kiyoshi and Kiyoko Tokutomi Memorial Haiku Contest. Others provide “good form” in haiku through a variety of line lengths, and such poems constitute the bulk of submissions to the GEPPO and other Society publications. The proper use of season words in English-language haiku is encouraged in all the activities of the Society.