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A Haiku is a short form of Japanese poetry typically characterised by consisting of 17 hiragana letters, seperated in lines of 5, 7 and 5, and follow nature as their subject.
Modern Japanese haiku are increasingly unlikely to follow the tradition of 17 letters or to take nature as their subject, but the use of juxtaposition continues to be honoured in both traditional and modern haiku.
- In Japanese, haiku are traditionally printed in a single vertical line while haiku in English often appear in three lines to parallel the three phrases of Japanese haiku.
- Previously called hokku, haiku was given its current name by the Japanese writer Masaoka Shiki at the end of the 19th century.