What is a Gogyoshi?

Taro Aizu explains the gogyoshi:Gogyoshi Art Project LOGO

What is Gogyoshi?

Gogyoshi is a poem written in five lines. Writing a poem in five lines is its only rule. The content of gogyohshi is free, its themes are chosen by the poet. There are other five-line poetries in the world, for example, gogyohka, tanka, cinquain, and limerick. These poetries have certain rules such as number of permitted syllables, line lengths, and rhyme. Gogyohshi has no such rules. It is the freest form of five-line poetry in the world. But gogyohshi doesn’t permit to be written in 4 or 6 lines, though gogyohka occasionally permits this. Gogyohshi is written only in five lines. If the poem is written in four lines, we should call it “Yongyohshi”meaning a poem written in four lines. If the poem is written in six lines, you should call it Rokugyohshi” meaning a poem …
written in six lines. As for a title, some Japanese poets add it to gogyohshi and others don’t.I will always add a title to my Japanese and English gogyohshi because I can’t tell one gogyohshi from the other. If I add it to my many gogyohshi, I will be able to tell them apart. I will write a short title in all capital letters so that readers don’t misunderstand the title as one line of 6 lines poetry. Gogyohshi is for me 5 lines poetry with a short title. But it isn’t the same as cinquain because it has no syllabic restraints unlike cinquain.
While Gogyohka is trademarked in Japan, gogyohshi is not so. Because Gogyohshi doesn’t belong to any special person but to everyone. Most Japanese gogyohka poets belong to gogyohka groups and follow the leaders of such groups. Most Gyohshi poets do not belong to any group and write as they please. In conclusion, among world five-line poetries, gogyohshi is closest to gogyohka in form. The primary differences between them lie in gogyohshi’s adherence to the rule of 5-line. Adding a title to them depends on the poet. A gogyohshi poet has no rule except writing a poem in five lines. This is my Declaration of Gogyoshi.

Gogyoshi Art Project
How it came about… by Ed Hanssen

After the “100 artworks from the world for Fukushima” ended there was a gap….
German artist Monika Radhoff-Troll pointed out the poems by japanese poet Taro Aizu.
After translating 2 poems by Taro Aizu , he asked me to translate all 10 Gogyoshi into dutch.
So i did. After that he asked me to translate his 100+ book called “The Lovely Earth”.

The Gogyoshi is a japanese form of poetry invented by Taro Aizu. I am honoured to be asked by the inventor of this kind of poetry to translate his book into dutch.

Chyuiky Itoga, a japanese artist with whom i did “100 artworks..” talked about the importance of Taro Aizu his gogyoshi and how she wanted them to be read all over the world. The gogyoshi talk about the feelings Taro Aizu has about his hometown Fukushima and how things have changed after March 11, 2011.

Together with Fred van Welie, dutch artist, I started this project to bring Taro Aizu his gogyoshi to the attention of the peoples of the Netherlands, through artists.

The idea:
Fred takes care off the printing of the gogyoshi in japanese and in dutch. Also the works of art made within this project will be printed.
Together we find dutch artists from every provence of the Netherlands to make art which is inspired by the gogyoshi. We will organise displays of the gogyoshi and the inspired artworks in hopefully, every provence of the Netherlands. Not just Freed and I organise exhibitions, but participants do so as well.

We also hope to smaller the gap between eastern and western culture by getting western artists to be inspired by eastern poetry. We start with the dutch artists for we are Dutch.  Maybe the same will happen the other way around as well: japanese artists being inspired by a dutch poet.Gogyoshi Art Project LOGO

We invite artists from other countries to adopt this project in their country.

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