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Book of the Week: Banno Senryu for Gaijin



The Book of the Week is Banno Senryu for Gaijin.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          “万能川柳 (Banno Senryu – Japanese for “senryu about everything) is the most popular senryu column published in the Japanese daily newspaper Mainichi Shimbun and edited by the well-known copywriter Takashi Nakahata. Every day Nakahata-san picks 18 poems out of thousands submitted to the newspaper. These poems reflect all aspects of human life and current events in modern Japanese society. The main characteristic of banno senryu is that it is open to all types of humour and satire and welcomes poems on every topic imaginable. A popular metaphor for banno senryu is the Japanese pot called nabe, which is a melting pot where you can cook anything you like. There is also a special motto: 人生の悩みに万能川柳だ, which translates as: To the troubles of life – bannō senryu.
Wishing to promote banno senryu among non-Japanese speakers we created a Facebook page, “Banno Senryu for Gaijin”, where during the period 29.07.2014 to 31.12.2015 we translated and published more than 200 senryu from the banno column. In this book we offer our translations and commentaries to all who speak one (or more) of the following languages: English, Russian and Italian.”                                                      —-From the Preface

Anyone serious about writing better senryu will profit from and be delighted by the modern Japanese approach to this popular form.


so many debtor countries
are very strong
at soccer



at eighty
I still believe great talents
mature late



on the shoe rack
the rest of their life —
my stilettos

-Yanae Takashi

You can read the entire book in the THF Digital Library.

Do you have a chapbook published 2010 or earlier you would like featured as a Book of the Week? Contact us for details.

Haiku featured in the Book of the Week Archive are selected by THF Digital Librarian Garry Eaton, and are used with permission.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I am reading the book and liking what I read. Gary, your selection prodded me to read on. TY

  2. Wow, terrific book. My best haiku are senryu. It’s that way with all of my poetry also. This is required reading for me among many others to be sure. Thanks!

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