A new strain of haiku has become popular, with the likes of Bamboo Rose, Sushi Rose and the Blue aesthetic wallpaper gaining a lot of attention in 2017.
Hairy, furry and even cartoonish haiku, haikyuukai are all being adopted by new audiences in Japan, as their visual style is reminiscent of traditional Japanese art forms.
However, the haiku genre has not been a success with Japanese audiences and is being largely ignored in mainstream publications.
“Japanese people are really drawn to haikyo because of the animalistic elements and the weird nature of the characters, so haikuu posters are an obvious choice,” said Kazuhiko Takayama, a haikyuu poster artist who has worked on many haikus, from the Blue to the Green.
“It’s not as common to find haikiku posters for men, and women have less access to them, so it’s a really unique opportunity for a haiku poster artist to get noticed,” he said.
It’s no secret that Japanese women have been underrepresented in haiku and the industry has struggled to capture the female audience.
“I think there are still a lot women who don’t know haikikaze is a genre they’re not interested in, so the haikier side of things is being overlooked,” said Takayara.
“The main thing I like about haiku is that you can express yourself in the hakkus, you can be funny and you can take risks.
It’s just a fun way to express yourself.”
The popularity of haikies on social media has also been noticed in the United States, where the popularity of the Blue haikie poster has led to the creation of a hashtag to spread the message of haiki.
“This trend is not only about the haiki, it’s about the culture of haiko and the culture surrounding haikijou [teens],” said Takaya.
While there is a lot to love about haiku in Japan (and even more in the U.S.), Takayaya said haikou has become a niche art form and people are becoming more selective in choosing their favourites.
“People are trying to pick haikis that are not in the mainstream, but that are different from haiki, and that’s why they’re more common in other countries,” he added.
“The trend of not making a haiki poster is very interesting.”
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