News and Announcements

The 2017 Tokutomi Memorial Haiku Contest

Enter the oldest USA-based international haiku contest of traditional Japanese haiku.
Win a Prize! $100 $50 $25 to the top three haiku.
Contest Rules

  • In hand-deadline of May 31, 2017
  • Haiku must be in English.
  • Haiku must have 17 syllables in a 5-7-5 pattern.
  • Haiku must use only one kigo from the contest list. Haiku with more than one recognized kigo will be disqualified.

2017 Contest Kigo List

  • New Year: first morning
  • Spring: tadpole, departing spring
  • Summer: midday nap, flea
  • Autumn: school begins, harvested fields
  • Winter: winter cloud, early plum blossoms

Contest Details
Can be found here.


Call for 2017 YTHS Anthology Submissions

The Yuki Teikei Haiku Society invites its members to contribute to the Society’s annual anthology, which will be edited this year by Phillip and Amy Kennedy. The in-hand deadline for submissions is June 2, 2017.

Email to:
Subject Line: 2017 Anthology

In the body of the email, please include 6 to 10 haiku. You may submit haiku that have appeared in the Society’s newsletter GEPPO or haiku that are unpublished. Provide your name, city, and state (or country), as you would like them to appear.

Hard copy submissions with the above information may be sent to:

Phillip and Amy Kennedy
580 Irving Ave. Apt. C
Monterey, CA 93940



Winter Holiday Party, Pot Luck and Haiku Exchange


at the home of:

Al and Patricia Machmiller
6116 Dunn Ave.
San Jose, CA 95123

on December 10, 2016 from 5-9 PM. Phone (408)373-5024 for directions and more details. Newcomers welcome. Please bring a dish(no peanuts please) and a haiku (25-30 copies) to share.


Jane Reichhold (1937—2016)

It is with great sadness we report the passing of Jane Reichhold. She was a great friend to YTHS and to the world of haiku. In 1991 when Yuki Teikei needed someone to take over the editorship of GEPPO, Jane very generously volunteered; she served as editor until 1993.

Jane was born Janet Styer in Lima, Ohio. Over forty books of her haiku, renga, tanka, and translations have been published. Her latest book by Kodansha USA, was Bashō: The Complete Haiku. Another recent book was A Dictionary of Haiku, Second Edition, containing about 5,000 haiku which is available through As founder and editor of AHA Books, Jane also published Mirrors: International Haiku Forum, and she co-edited with her husband, Werner Reichhold, Lynx for Linking Poets from 1992–2014. Lynx went online in 2000 on, the website Jane started in 1995. For many years she and Werner resided near Gualala, California.

Jane was a creative, exuberant, and prolific writer; here are a few of her many haiku from From the Dipper . . . Drops, Humidity Productions (Gualala CA, 1983):

no guests today                   In the spring sunshine
   a fly swatter lies across         the strangeness of his perfectly
        the Sunday papers                 normal thumbnail

In my garden                           Caught on a grape leaf
   the apples on this still bent tree     enough raindrops to water
      are still not mine.                    a sparrow

floating islands carry                 the sum           mer’s heat
their own clouds of mist            swallowed up       by the gap
migrating whales                            in the   watermelon

Friends of Jane shared these haiku:

shocked by her death              legendary             golden rose
a friend I longed to know—   their love for each other  on a broken stem
mid-summer fog                 Altair and Vega          lingering fragrance

 Carolyn Fitz                 Patricia J. Machmiller     Eleanor Carolan


At every biennial HNA meeting there is a session memorializing poets who have died since the last meeting. This year there were many names of people well known and dear to YTHS members. After the formal presentation there was an opportunity for audience members to call out names of poets who had earlier passed away.

The presentation was backed by an evocative cello solo written by Hillary Tan, one of the meeting organizers. Jim Kacian has placed the memorial on line. Watch it below.

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


One of our members, June Hymas, undertook the authoring of a pictorial daily blog to celebrate each day of 2015 in pictures and poetry of YTHS.  A link to her blog is here.



For this recent 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 of 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 in 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 almost 100 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.