News and Announcements

This year, 2015, marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society.  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 authoring a pictorial daily blog to celebrate each day of the year.  You can link to her blog here.


For Yuki Teikei’s 40th Anniversary, we would like to feature many members’ haiku. Please send 15-20 haiku to Patricia Machmiller ( putting ‘2015 YT Anthology Submission’ as the Subject. Include the haiku and your name (as you would like it to appear) in the body of the Email. Also include the city and state where you live. Hard-copy can be sent to:

Patricia Machmiller
6116 Dunn Avenue
San Jose, CA 95123

The in-hand deadline for submissions is May 15, 2015.

Recent YTHS Events


It was an evening of haiku friendship. The holiday dinner was at the home of Alison Woolpert, our YTHS President. As she expressed through her words:

Luminarias outside, holiday lights inside, and a living room filled with the lively talk among friends (Patricia & Al Machmiller, Judith & Lou Schallberger, Joan Zimmerman and friends from Japan Miki and Shun Kamata, Eleanor Carolyn, Carol Steele, Carolyn Fitz, Jean Mahoney, Patrick Gallagher, Sandy Vrooman, Roger Abe, Ann Bendixen, Kae Bendixen, Amy Ostenso Kennedy, Phillip Kennedy, and Alan Leavitt).  Candles and Carol’s Ikebana centerpiece decorated the dining room table, a table laden with delicious potluck offerings.  We feasted, and then shared our haiku/haiga cards.

To sum it all up in J. Zimmerman’s words:  “It was filled with Joy.” Write-up by Mimi Ahern.


“It was for the birds!”… and for all the 33 birder haiku poets (new and veteran) who gathered for the YTHS Retreat at Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, CA.  Mimi Ahern took some wonderful photos during the retreat, which can be seen here.  Mimi also chronicled this 4-day event, and her write-up can be found here.



For this new feature of the website, each member of the Society can provide up to ten haiku for presentation. The presence of the poems on the website will allow viewers to understand the tenor and range of Yuki Teikei poetry. Each member is invited to submit, by email or snail mail, poems for posting on the website under the poet’s name. Poets may choose from their whole corpus, poems that they would be happy to share with Yuki Teikei poets and web viewers. Send them to one of the web-minders, Patrick Gallagher (, or David Sherertz (


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 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.