This is an English booklet to introduce ‘Gogyohka(five-line verse)’ for the first time. this is ‘Revised and Expanded Second Edition’. Printed in Japan 2006. Digitized in June 2017, Paperback Dec.2022.
Gogyohka literally translates as “five-line verse”. It is an evolution of the great Japanese tradition of short verse, but unlike its predecessors Haiku and Tanka, it has no fixed syllable pattern.
The great strength of the Gogyohka form is this simplicity. It is intended to be easy for people to write. Indeed Gogyohka’s accessibility and its power to speak directly to the heart and mind stem from the simplicity of its form. There have been times in the past when I have met people and doubted their ability to write good verse. Each time I have been proven wrong and each time I apologize in my heart for my unkind thoughts. It is not good to judge a person by first impressions and I have trained myself not to think in this way.
Through the simple act of living, we all have something within us that can move other people. I believe that this is the right way to think. There are great works within everyone that can move other people, bring them solace, joy, or even be their key to living. The joy of knowing that is wonderful.
Please try writing Gogyohka. I liken it to creating a clone of yourself through words and sending it out into the world. By writing Gogyohka you can give other people the chance to understand you and be moved by your words. You, yourself, may even find the key to unlock your troubles. (from Chapter10 “Gogyohka in America”)
“I hope that this book will prove to be an effective first step in introducing Gogyohka to the rest of the world.” by Enta Kusakabe.