Katauta Poetry


Katauta is a Japanese style of poetry that was used before 8ad and consists of 17 or 19 syllables. These syllables are spread over 3 lines either with each line containing 5, 7, then 5 syllables or 5, 7, then 7 syllables. Two Katautas written together make up a Sedoka. A single Katauta is considered an incomplete poem.

My Tips, Tricks, & Opinions

Feel free to leave your thoughts and advice in the comment section below.

A Confusing Point

The Katauta is short. Using the traditional definition of a Haiku, a Katuata is approximately the same thing (having a syllable make up of 5-7-5 over three lines). The main difference, I assume, is that the Haiku is more complex than the standard 5-7-5 definition (though I'm not an expert there) and is unrhymed, while the Katuata can be rhymed. I'm still working out the difference....

But Lookout For...

Katuatas are considered incomplete for a reason: if you want to capture a short moment in time, a Haiku is probably more acceptable. From what I've read, Katautas are meant to be part of a longer dialogue, though singularly they are good practice for the longer style.


Questions (November 3, 2014)

A simple question
Lingers in the calm, still air
Waits for you and I


  1. "Katauta". Dictionary.com; visited November 2014
  2. "Katauta". Shadow Poetry; visited November 2014
  3. "Katauta (poetic form)". Encyclopædia Britannica. May 1999

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