Indeed, clarifying this split between haiku and senryû is one of the primary goals of haijinx. The “hai” in haiku is “playful” or “humorous” and we wish to highlight this particular feature. There is simply no hai in haiku without some sense of humor, lightness, or playfulness. We are not alone in this belief. Famed translator R.H. Blyth, in Haiku, Volume One: Eastern Culture (The Hokuseido Press, Tokyo, 1949), defines several key characteristics of haiku. Humor is first on that list. Akito Arima, the past president of the Haiku International Association, writes in the preface to A Hidden Pond (Kadokawa Shoten, Japan, 1997) that “[t]he universal character of haiku may be due to the fact that they always contain a sense of humor, as well as scenes of nature and daily life, things appreciated by anybody.” This list of primarily Japanese experts could go on.
— Mark Brooks, A Lost Introduction
And while there have not been many recent articles on hai, humor and haiku in haijinx, the archive boasts the thoughts of several poets on the topic.
haijinx I:1 (Spring 2001)
Susumu Takiguchi — Sense of Humour: The Forgotten Prerequisite of Haiku
Nobuyuki Yuasa — Laughter in Japanese Haiku (reprint)
Wiliam J Higginson — Humor in Bashô’s Hokku I: The Childlike
Serge Tomé — Humour in the Western Haiku
Michael Dylan Welch — The Difference Between Haiku and Senryu
John Crook — Humour in Haiku
Ikuyo Yoshimura — haiku with humour
haijinx I:2 (Summer 2001)
Wiliam J Higginson — Humor in Bashô’s Hokku II: Playing in the Tradition
David G Lanoue — Issa’s Comic Vision
Ryu Yotsuya — Humor and Kusatao’s Haiku
Randy Brooks — Consonance as the Genesis of Humor in Haiku
David Cobb — Humour in Haiku
Dhugal Lindsay — Humour in Haijin
haijinx II:1 (Spring 2002)
Patrick Gallagher — Tell About the Truth As If It Were False
Wiliam J Higginson — Humor in Bashô’s Hokku III: Cosmic Humor
Janice Bostok — To Laugh Or To Cry
Peggy Willis Lyles — What’s So Funny?