-YTHS Haiku – Guidelines


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.)

Suggested Guidelines for haiku in YTHS web publications

Basho and many other haiku poets discovered that three parts to each haiku was plenty to express their feelings and impressions. These three parts are always intertwined and will often reflect upon each other. As the haiku developed in the 5-7-5 form, one of these parts was given to the kigo. The kigo is the window of the haiku. When you look from the street at a house, you can only see what is in front of the wall, but when you walk up to the house and peer through the window you can see what is hidden behind those walls. The kigo gives you an inside look at the haiku’s world and its life. Other people have said that the kigo is the heart of haiku.

Mechanics of Submitting

  • You may submit as many entries as you like, but we will be accepting at most ten (10) from each submitting author.
  • Apart from your source text, submissions should be unpublished and not under consideration for publication elsewhere. This includes not only publication in online and print journals, but also works displayed where others can access them on social media, personal web pages, online photo albums, blogs, and at online workshop groups and forums.
  • Include “YTHS Haiku” in your subject heading.
  • Copyright to all work published on youngleaves.org remains with the contributing author/artist, and no haiku may be copied, reproduced or republished without their written permission. Artists and authors are free to republish work.