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Haiga - Haiku with Imagery

Mohan is a family physician, film and TV aficionado, a keen bibliophile and an eclectic scribbler.

Poetry and Art


I love the union of images and poetry. The magic of a beautiful poem set against the backdrop of beautiful art is a double joy for those who appreciate such creative endeavors.

Last year, I wrote some Haikus for Valentine's day and decided as an exercise to set them on various images that added value to the words. I really loved the end result, and so did many of the readers.

At that time, I had little realisation that the combination of Haiku and painting/art is a genre of its own and goes way back in time. Records show that it existed as far back in the 16th century Japan. As most Haiku creators wrote in calligraphy, juxtaposing an image, a scene or an emblem to their Haiku must have a been a natural progression with those flowing brushstrokes of ink.

This wonderful juxtaposition of art and Haiku is called Haiga.

 A little cuckoo across the Hydrangea : Haiga by Yosa Buson(1716 - 1784)

A little cuckoo across the Hydrangea : Haiga by Yosa Buson(1716 - 1784)

An old pond. Snow Falling on birds. Evening falls. Shiki

An old pond. Snow Falling on birds. Evening falls. Shiki

Haiga by Shiki

An old pond.

Snow Falling on birds.

Evening falls.


Shiki

A Short History of Haiga


Nonoguchi Ryūho (1595-1669) is credited to have initiated the form of Haiga but there are plenty of older examples of art and poetry juxtaposed on a canvas. Ryūho perhaps was the first to do this consistently and received great acclaim for it.The paintings were simple, elegant and comprised of few brush strokes that conveyed great depth and understanding of the subject being painted. Much like how the Haiku captures more from less, so did the accompanying painting.

The Haiga is attributed to have mainly originated around the Edo period (1603 - 1868) in Japan. The artforms of traditional 5-7-5 Haiku is combined with Nihonga (Japanese colour painting) or Suiboku-ga (Japanese ink painting) to create a Haiga.


I love the idea of 'reading' the image and the poem together. The Japanese masters created simple brushstrokes of elegance and eloquence that stand the test of time. Traditional Haiga are restrained efforts with the brush strokes that illustrate the painting and the words minimalistic and unpretentious. It submits to Matsuo Basho's ( the master of Japanese Haiku) call the 'Return to nature and submit to nature'

Like most art forms, the Haiga has been adapted and assimilated. My use of photographs to illustrate my Haiku came before I learnt of the art form, but as I scour the internet I can see that many have done similar work either to illustrate traditional Haiku's or other poems.

My Haiga

I feel the combination of photographs and Haiku adds a spin to the traditional Haiga. Here's some of my own creations. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did creating them:

Haiga 1: Sail Away

Haiga I: Sail Away (I took this photo off the Turkish Coast while sailing.)

Haiga I: Sail Away (I took this photo off the Turkish Coast while sailing.)

Haiga 1:


Sail away with me

Open ocean, distant ports

Love guides, like the stars


Haiga II: Summer Love (This picture was taken in a eco-resort called Dune in Pondicherry, South India)

Haiga II: Summer Love (This picture was taken in a eco-resort called Dune in Pondicherry, South India)

Haiga II: Summer Love


Dusk paints sky and pool

golden shimmers, palm trees sigh

sun kissed summer love




Haiga III: Cloud Wisps

Haiga III: Cloud Wisps

Haiga III: Cloud Wisps



Mist over mountains

Distant haze hides majesty

Closer, just cloud wisps..



Haiga IV: Jouney ( I took this through the car window on the road to Pondicherry)

Haiga IV: Jouney ( I took this through the car window on the road to Pondicherry)

Haiga IV: Journey


Roads blur past in rushed

journey towards horizon

Trees watch, wait for you



Haiga V: Deeper ( Greek coastline near one of the cycladic islands)

Haiga V: Deeper ( Greek coastline near one of the cycladic islands)

Haiga V: Deeper


We swim in shallows

Safe feet touching the sand bank

Dare you dive deeper



Instead of home– the cool moonlight’s straw mat

Instead of home– the cool moonlight’s straw mat

Haiga - an experience

I find this exercise of creating a Haiga truly inspiring. Sometimes the poem inspires the photograph in others the photo inspires the words. In many other occasions I just find the two to unite in harmony. I find the whole experience exhilarating. When I posted Haiga on my Facebook page, the response from many friends shows they too, enjoy this experience.

I have since found there is an online magazine dedicated to Haiga. The pages here contain some wonderful examples of this art from, both traditional and modern.

See for yourselves at Haigaonline.

Related Hubs by Docmo

Thank you!

Thank you for reading hub and hope you've enjoyed this work. Please do leave some comments and feedback below. Please do vote as appropriate!

If you like what you read share it with friends and family on Facebook/ Twitter/ Pinterest or similar.

Appreciate your time and interest, dear reader.

Do come again.

Docmo

© Mohan Kumar 2012

Comments

Sandra Holt from Grand Rapids, Michigan on July 05, 2018:

I live the imagery and Haiku combined!

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on November 20, 2013:

Mohan (Docmo),

I have returned to read your beautiful article another time. (I have lost track of how many times I have read it.)

If you had not published this Hub, I would not have begun combining my haiku with photographs. Haiga is an art form I truly love. Thank you, my friend.

Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on May 13, 2013:

First thank you vocalcoach. The discovery of Docmo's work is awesominity at its best seeking stellar with a high five. Thank you for presenting to me of least a break from this and that Docmo. A fan of Haiga, Hakui, Tanka, and more I appreciate the splendid beauty presenting the abstract succinctly. Very well done of a humble view.

I relish how Haiga are at times life saving in a sense providing much more for those who may not have means. The expressions of complexity through two forms of art becoming a greater than while equal too is astounding. These presented here offer so many perspectives more than a moment may turn into blessings of very much.

Well, I'm going to climb this little rise and revisit seeking difference of the first and more than.

tim

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on May 13, 2013:

It's been 8 months since I last came here and so glad to find it again. I'm even more inspired this time. Thank you for sharing your beautiful gift. Voted across, up and sharing.

SilverGenes on May 13, 2013:

Wonderful! You have inspired me! And not only that, I learned something new. Thank you!

Audrey Howitt from California on April 01, 2013:

Beautiful Mohan!!

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on December 09, 2012:

Mohan (Docmo),

I've come back to one of my favorite Hub yet another time. It's brilliant, polymath!

Mike Robbers from London on November 15, 2012:

Fantastic hub! I love this Japanese drawings and i tend to think that graphic designers nowadays they love it as well :)

Great source of inspiration if you ask me...

KrisL from S. Florida on October 27, 2012:

Hi Docmo - I finally published my hub on haiga and included a link to this one, as promised. I'm sure people will enjoy it.

Angelo52 on October 10, 2012:

I've been doing this without knowing there was a name for it. How about that! Haiga for haiku on photos or images. I just called it Haiku on photos. Guess I'll have to call them haiga from now on. Thanks for the info - great article.

KrisL from S. Florida on October 10, 2012:

Thanks for this hub! I'm working on a hub on haiga from a slightly different perspective, and I will definitely both learn from and showcase yours.

(voted beautiful and shared).

Jamie Lee Hamann from Reno NV on September 10, 2012:

Thank you Docmo for these beautiful Haikus and an introduction into Haiga. I was not familiar but after your hub I am very interested in more. Jamie

Audrey Howitt from California on September 10, 2012:

Beautiful and informative--mind if I share this?

Rema T V from Chennai, India on September 10, 2012:

Beautiful hub with great pictures and useful information about the history of Haiga. Enjoyed reading it and shared and tweeted too. Cheers, Rema.

Madeleine Salin from Finland on September 10, 2012:

Docmo, this is so beautiful. I really like the combination of beautiful pictures and beautiful words. You are doing a wonderful job. Keep writing Haiga! I really enjoy them. :)

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on September 09, 2012:

Mohan (Docmo),

I came back to enjoy your wonderfully creative Haiga a second time. You never fail to deliver excellence, polymath.

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 26, 2012:

Audrey .. what a wonderful comment and compliment. I'm glad you liked the video and the music. I always want to share what I've learnt. perhaps the best way to remember it for posterity!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on August 26, 2012:

Dear Docmo - This is so very beautiful. The video brought a tear of sublimity to me. The piano background is one of Chopin's most stunning Etudes. I love your hub. Very healing. Thank you for teaching me about haiga. I felt very much at home and completely comfortable as I read through this. Up, awesome, beautiful and interesting!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 26, 2012:

Chef- I do love the haiku for the same reasons- the subtle simplicity in just so many words yet an elaborate emotional and visual eloquence that takes one's breath away... thank you for your visit and comment.

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 26, 2012:

Vinaya- appreciate your visit/comment and share. Thank you!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 26, 2012:

Kim, thank you so much for your wonderful comments. That's one of my favorites - actually I stole from myself because I wrote a longer poem called 'The Deep' on the same theme!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 26, 2012:

Derdriu- thank you so much for visiting and picking your favorites. Appreciate it!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 26, 2012:

Ruchira- do give it a shot. I love the simple yet elegant format of Haiku!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 26, 2012:

Lightshare- thank you!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 26, 2012:

Lightshare- thank you!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 26, 2012:

drbj- always delighted when you visit and appreciate my work. I'm glad you like this collection!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 26, 2012:

snakeslane : thank you for your visit and comments. I did try different fonts first as text over images caused a readability concern and eventually settled on a font that didn't look too 'formal' but readable at the same time.

Andrew Spacey from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK on August 26, 2012:

The invention of haiku by those Japanese masters was truly inspired. To capture an emotion or sentiment in three lines, and with the added philosophical twist or snapshot of nature - it's still a wondrous poetical form, so versatile and not out of place in this modern fast moving age.

Thank you for you images and haiku.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on August 26, 2012:

Thanks for this comprehensive hub on haiga. I enjoyed reading your compositions.

Sunnie Day on August 25, 2012:

Good Morning Docmo

This video and all your beautiful poetry placed within the lovely pictures with music really touches the soul. I have enjoyed them on Facebook and so happy you have shared them here. Thank you so much.

I love this one! Makes one want to try a bit harder, take some risks..almost a dare..:)

"swim in shallows

Safe feet touching the sand bank

Dare you dive deeper"

Derdriu on August 25, 2012:

Docmo, Bravo! In particular, I like the first ("Sail away"), third ("Cloud wisps"), and fifth ("Deeper") haiga.

Shared.

Respectfully, and with many thanks, Derdriu

Ruchira from United States on August 24, 2012:

Always a delight to see a new genre of poem. Will give it a shot!

you sure have created fantastic and creative pieces...cheers!

Lightshare on August 22, 2012:

Wouh! what a beauty.. Thank you Docmo

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on August 21, 2012:

Hey Docmo, I just noticed I spelled the Haiga wrong. Sorry!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on August 21, 2012:

Thank you, Docmo, for this entertaining and enlightening introduction to Haiga. Your beautiful Haiga video is mezmerizing and inspirational. I kid you not. As far as I'm concerned, you are the new Master of Haiga. Trust me.

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on August 18, 2012:

Docmo your Haigu are gorgeous, I love that you usd really vivid images and sharp lettering. In contrast the classical pen and ink Haigu are so flowing and understated. It is interesting to see them together. I enjoyed that you pay tribute to the original art form and the poets who created it. Hub pages is a great venue for this style of poetry. Thank you. Regards, snakeslane

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 18, 2012:

Ha ha! that is a gem, indeed. I love the gentle parody and poking fun at a sometimes pretentious genre. Reminds me of Ogden Nash's work.

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 18, 2012:

Minnentonka- good to see you. Really appreciate your visit and comments. thank you!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 18, 2012:

Gypsy rose- much appreciated. I'm glad you like this effort.

Ka'imi'loa from Tucson, AZ. on August 18, 2012:

A lonely figure in a non-existent line I wait for hours Oh, banks closed on Saturday.

-Rap Reiplinger

(1950-1984)

Bruddah James Kawika, one of Hawaiis comedic sons gone to soon. This particular haiku is one that has always made me giggle.

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on August 17, 2012:

Wow, your hub has everything and is very creative. Loved the pictures and colors and Haiku and the information you provided. Very good work.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on August 17, 2012:

Voted up and awesome. Love the words, music and images. Passing this on.

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

Mary- I am glad the juxtaposition works for you. I had done them last year too a collection of 20 or so love poems with photos. I never knew then they could be classed as Haiga. I have gone and revised those hubs as Haiga now. thank you so much.

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

Daisy- thank you very much for your wonderful comments. I am glad you find this hub useful and interesting. Appreciate it!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

ignugent- Thank you!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

Julie- I am glad you like them. There's already a trend of pictures and poems. the original Haiga are so much magical. I am hoping to paint some if I can. Thank you!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

Nithya- so sweet - thank you very much!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

Annie- it was all your wonderful comments on FB that spurred me to create this hub. Thank you very much!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

Lesley- much appreciated! thanks.

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

Martie- I am delighted my effort has inspired you to write some of your own. I am glad to have inspired you, Liefling. (;-) Thank you so much.

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

MHatter- thank you very much.

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

Mary- I'm often rendered speechless by these warm and wonderful comments myself. Thank you very much.

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

Dotti- I am glad to learn and share something new. I'm glad you think this sweeps the board. Appreciate it much.

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

Mar- your poetic comment warms my soul much. Thank you so much, you know I am putty in your words.

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

Janine- its good to have a few fellow teachers ( like you, Dianna and others) appreciate the lesson element. Thanks for visiting.

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

Dianna- Glad you enjoyed these. Thank you!

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

Dana- I know you've seen these on my FB page. It was nice to get them all together on a hub with a bit of history too. Glad you enjoyed this.

Mohan Kumar (author) from UK on August 17, 2012:

Cyndi10- thank you for your visit and comment!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 17, 2012:

Mohan, your talent is amazing. That's not the right word, I just can't find it right now. Everything you create has such soul and spirit, beauty, intrigue. And you're a doctor on top of it all! What a beautiful, giving soul you are.

Now, I have to chastise you a bit. I just heard you spent some time very recently in Orlando. I work in Orlando and live 14 miles NE of there. I absolutely would have loved to have met you and gotten to know the amazing man with the pen name of Docmo!

Please, the next time you come this way, let me know!

Voted Up, Beautiful and Awesome, by the way!!

Mary Craig from New York on August 17, 2012:

Haiku is not my strong point but it certainly is yours! The photos and haiku go together like peaches and cream.

I've used poems with photography but never superimposed like this, so along with the beauty of this hub thanks for creativity tips!

Voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful and interesting...I had to leave out funny.

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on August 17, 2012:

Mohan (Docmo),

I especially enjoy reading articles in which I learn something new. I have read Haiku combined with images, but I never knew there was a name for this art form. ..Haiga.

Juxtaposing your words and your images has enhanced both. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me.

ignugent17 on August 17, 2012:

Excellent Haiku!

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on August 17, 2012:

Mohan - I love these. Like you, I love images and poetry together and with music, it is even better. Wonderful hub...you might start a trend I think :o)

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on August 17, 2012:

Wonderful!! Your Haiga is awesome. Pictures are great and enjoyed reading your hub.

Annie Fenn from Australia on August 17, 2012:

I love your Haiga, Docmo and your facebook haiga posts never cease to delight and inspire me!!! Thank you for this background on haiga traditions and thank you for more Docmo magic. Checking out the Haigaonline link now. Votes, best wishes and sharing!!

Movie Master from United Kingdom on August 17, 2012:

These haiku's and pictures are truly beautiful, I loved your video!

Wonderful hub thank you and voted up.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on August 16, 2012:

So good to see these haiku's of yours in a hub, Docmo - where they can come to their better right. I would so much like to copy you, and I am going to, because this kind of presentation - with Haiga - or how we imitate the original idea - is also my idea of haiku presentations.

Please let me give the 'devil its due' - Eventually, at last, you have inspired me to write - to try to write - haiku. I am sure your presentation - with picture background - must have crumbled my resistance.

These haiku's are truly impressive, as well as the info you've provided about Haiga.

Thanks!

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on August 16, 2012:

Impressive haiku and an equally impressive presentation

Mary Hyatt from Florida on August 16, 2012:

This work just leaves me speechless, Docmo. Beautiful from start to finish. I was not familiar with the Haiga, so this was a learning experience for me.

I stand in awe of you, Mary

D.Juris Stetser from South Dakota on August 16, 2012:

Well you have just swept the board...almost. Interesting Awesome, Beautiful. useful voting Up, not much left.. This is Amazing! I love all the information you've covered, and the extra perks, the paintings, the magazine....absolutely, you and this little goodie are being tucked away into my "favorites". Love it. Thank you so much for this wonderful hub.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on August 16, 2012:

Healing

Artistic

Imaginative

Generative

Awe- inspiring

Mohan, Each exquisite in their own right. UP & ABI. Hugs, Maria

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on August 16, 2012:

First off your Haikus are beautiful. Second, the pictures you drew to go along with them are amazing. Loved the history lesson also (the teacher in me couldn't resist!). Seriously you are so talented and am a bit awe right now. Have of course voted, shared and tweeted too!!

Dianna Mendez on August 16, 2012:

Thank you for the history lesson on this beautiful art form. The photos are so lovely and I can see the artist's enjoyment within the drawings and expression. Your poems are also beautiful and I always enjoy reading them.

Dana Strang from Ohio on August 16, 2012:

I am so glad you wrote this. It's about time! I always enjoy the works you post. Such a perfect match of words and image. They play off each other beautifully. I enjoyed learning about the art form.

Cynthia B Turner from Georgia on August 16, 2012:

This is awesomely beautiful!! Voted up, beautiful and sharing.