Week Twenty-Four: The Gogyohka


The Japanese love their five-line forms. (I love them too!) The word Gogyohka (sometimes written Gogyōka in English) translates literally from Japanese to mean “five-line form.” An unnamed version of the form has existed at least since the early 1900s, but the popularity of the form today is largely credited to poet Enta Kusakabe who developed and trademarked the gogyohka in 1983 as a freer adaptation of the tanka form.

A Gogyohka by Enta Kusakabe

What kind of
stained glass
have your
rose-coloured cheeks
passed through

                                          Enta Kusakabe

Five rules of Gogyohka
by Enta Kusakabe*

  • Gogyohka is a new form of short poem that is based on the ancient Japanese Tanka and Kodai kayo.
  • Gogyohka has five lines, but exceptionally may have four or six.
  • Each line of Gogyohka consists of one phrase with a line-break after each phrase or breath.
  • Gogyohka has no restraint on numbers of words or syllables.
  • The theme of Gogyohka is unrestricted.
    *from Wikipedia

Three Original Gogyohka


The autumn sunset
the prairie moon
the astounding things
the eyes can do
with light


In arctic silence
even an echo
of a heartbeat
can become
an avalanche


Don’t stack up
your worry
against the frost
you’ll wither without
that winter sun

Links to Online Resources

Gogyohka – Writer’s Digest
Gogyohka – 5gogyohka.com
Gogyōka – Wikipedia
What is a Gogyohka? – Thanet Writers


Come back every Friday to see the next form!

~ Creative works are owned by the author and subject to copyright laws ~

Write your own and share in the comments!

One thought on “Week Twenty-Four: The Gogyohka

  1. Pingback: Three Gogyohka (Week 24) – Adam of the Universe

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