Haikai (Japanese 俳諧 comic, unorthodox) may refer in both Japanese and English to haikai no renga (renku), a popular genre of Japanese linked verse, which developed in the sixteenth century out of the earlier aristocratic renga. It meant "vulgar" or "earthy", and often derived its effect from satire and puns, though "under the influence of [Matsuo] Bashō (1644–1694) the tone of haikai no renga became more serious".[1] "Haikai" may also refer to other poetic forms that embrace the haikai aesthetic, including haiku and senryū (varieties of one-verse haikai), haiga (haikai art, often accompanied by haiku), and haibun (haiku mixed with prose, such as in the diaries and travel journals of haiku poets). However, haikai does not include orthodox renga or waka.[2][3]


Matsuo Bashō is one of the most famous poets of the Edo period and the greatest figure active in Japanese haikai during the latter half of the seventeenth century. He made his life’s work the transformation of haikai into a literary genre. For Bashō, haikai involved a combination of comic playfulness and spiritual depth, ascetic practice and involvement in human society.[4] He composed haikai masterpieces in a variety of genres, including renku, haibun, and haiga.[5] In contrast to the traditional Japanese poetry of his day, Bashō’s haikai treated the ordinary, everyday lives of commoners, portraying figures from popular culture such as the beggar, the traveler and the farmer. In crystallizing the newly popular haikai, he played a significant role in giving birth to modern haiku, which reflected the common culture.[citation needed]

Other Languages
español: Haikai
Esperanto: Hajkajo
hrvatski: Haikai
日本語: 俳諧
slovenščina: Haikai