My activities and publications have been introduced in media. Mariko Kitakubo

Mariko Kitakubo Profile

Mariko Kitakubo

Born in Tokyo.
Living in Mitaka-city, Tokyo
Japan Writers' Association,
Japan PEN Club,
Association of Contemporary Tanka Poets,
Japan Tanka Poets' Society,
Tanka Online Project,
Tanka Society of America.

Contemprary Tanka Poet Mariko Kitakubo. Media coverage.

Two pieces of my English Tanka are posted in the Poetry Corner, theme "Protesting Our Enviroment" in Colorado


Thursday, July 20, 2017

The report of my anti-nuclear reading activity was posted in the newsletter of "The writers association aiming for abandoning nuclear power" (No. 9, April 2017).




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

My short essay is posted in the Asahi Shinbun, a Japanese national paper. My short essay is posted in "UTA WO YOMU", the poetry section of the Asahi Shinbun, a Japanese national newspaper.

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude toward the editor who gave me such a wonderful opportunity.


Below is the English translation.



12 years have passed since I started reading performance overseas in order to introduce the beauty of TANKA to the people outside Japan. To date, I have visited 29 cities in the U.S., Europe, Australia, India and Africa, and performed TANKA reading both in Japanese and in English at the places such as universities, book stores, and International events. While my reading performance, I add background sound with some percussion instruments that I bring with me. For instance, a poem written by Ohtomo no Yakamochi in Man’yo Luster ---

as I turn my gaze upward
and see the crescent moon,
I recall
the trailing eyebrows
of the woman I saw but once

“Sounds very beautiful as if it were a piece of music.” I often receive this comment from the audience who hear Japanese TANKA for the first time in his/her life.

When I perform bilingual TANKA reading, I place much importance in the comfort of sound and rhythm. It is also important to construct the whole performance with universal theme. Regardless their nationality, culture, religion, gender or age, the audience must feel empathy with the theme. In the reading, I also include the pieces that I wrote.

pure silence...
deep sleep of Mt.Fuji,
they appear,
the forest god and
the god of water

I try to deliver the emotion of the poem from soul to soul directly. “I do not understand Japanese language, but I was moved so much.” When I receive comments like this, I think to myself my reading performance of the day was successful. No matter how hard I try, my effort alone cannot obtain such reactions from the audience. What makes it happen is the emotional interaction between the listeners and myself. I believe it strongly, and feel gratitude from the bottom of my heart. In fact, I was once told, “I felt the place was filled with an enormous undulation.”

I would like to continue to deliver the wonderfulness of TANKA to the world through my reading performance activity.

intently flowing
the river empties
into the sea,
its mouth like a border
between life and death

Sunday, April 9, 2017

My writing is posted in the 2017 January issue of The Japan Writers' Association News.
Thank you very much.


Monday, March 13, 2017

11 pieces of my tanka from INDIGO are included in anthology of NUCLEAR IMPACT.






Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ms. M. Trochimczyk posted my tanka sequence in her blog, "Poetry Laurels."
Thank you very much, Ms. Trochimczyk!

Click here to move to Poetry Laurels.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"SILK & SPICE Pirene's Fountain Volume 9 Issue 17", an American journal of poetry, posted some of my tanka.  These are the sequence about Vietnam, which are included in my latest anthology "INDIGO."







Wednesday, January 25, 2017

CIRRUS, a French tanka jouranl, posted some of my tanka from INDIGO together with French translation.

It is amazing, and I am so grateful.

I would be happy if I can be of some help for the French-speaking people to get familiar with tanka.

Click the images below to read "Cirrus tankas de nos jours No. 6 novembre 2016."




Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Colorado Blvd. Instagram posted my tanka reading video!

Click the picture or URL below to move to Colorado Blvd. Instagram.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

INDIGO will be lined up in the showcase of POET HOUSE in NY as a poetry book 2016.

It is my first book published in the U.S., and I have never imagined this wonderful honor to date.

I really appreciate it.  Thank you very much.

Click the url below to move to the POET HOUSE website.

Monday, June 20, 2016

I am very honored to be posted in the facebook page of Tanka Society of America.

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude toward Ms. Marilyn Hazelton, the president of TSA.

The post in Tanka Society of America's FB page 

Tanka has the power to heal our broken hearts. That can help us from the hopeless terrible situation. I noticed that beside my Mother’s bed in the ICU hospita...l. She was sleeping like a beautiful baby or quiet Christmas Rose...
I kept writing tanka everyday, every moment to keep myself during her last 17 days.

cherry avenue
my late mother’s favorite...
is there
another world?
petal drift

Mariko Kitakubo

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

My English tanka is published in the 85th issue of Kyoto Journal.

Mr. Ken Rodgers,
Thank you very much for using my work this year again!


Monday, April 4, 2016

My tanka sequence is posted in Kyoto Journal #83 Food Issue.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

As of tomorrow, May 21st (U.S. time), you will be able to read and hear my tanka sequence as well as the reading performance audio at  Please access the webpage from the URL below!

My English tanka sequence, "After Fukushima", which was published in Rattle #47 in March 2015, together with my other sequence (8 pieces) will be published online in Rattle website on May 21.

You will be able to enjoy my bilingual tanka reading performance audio accompanied by oldflute Shakuhachi by Rick Wilson and percussion instrument by myself.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

April 25, 2015, Colorado published my interview.

Click here to read the article in Colorado


Saturday, April 25, 2015

My nice friend, Joan Zimmerman read my english tanka from Rattle #47 on the KUSP radio show.
Thank you so much, Joan!

cherry avenue
my late mother's favorite ...
is there
another world?
petal drift

Please check the program, "Rattle: Japanese poetry forms" on March 30th, 2015, on KUSP Radio Website!



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A series of my tanka, composed of 5 pieces, will be posted in the issue 47 of "Rattle", which is the most prestigious English poetry magazine.

I am very much honored, and am so grateful, with the fact that my work was discovered among more than 5,000 applicants.

I take this honor very seriously, and devote myself even more to compose tanka. Details will be announced in my website after the magazine is issued in March, 2015.


>> click here to move to "Rattle" forthcoming issue.

>> click here to move to "Rattle" website.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

"Jiyu-Jizai" published by Juken Kenkyu Sha included my tanka again.

A popular study guide for senior children at elementary school introduced my tanka in the section of poetry appreciation.

I am very honored to be selected again as one of the 23 poets whose works I studied in the textbooks when I was a student.

My tanka introduced:
I hear a voice telling me I should shed my husk, let myself be born anew

23 poets introduced:
Kakinomotono Hitomaro Motoori Norinaga Kitahara Hakushu Empress Jito
Ryokan Yosano Akiko Yamanoueno Okura Masaoka Shiki
Tawara Machi Yamabeno Akahito Ishikawa Takuboku Kitakubo Mariko
Kino Tomonori Ito Sachio Terayama Shuji Fujiwarano Toshiyuki
Shimaki Akahiko Kato Jiro Minamotono Sanetomo Saito Mokichi
Homura Hiroshi Oota Doukan Wakayama Bokusui  

Monday, October 27, 2014

It always seems to be a new challenge, to do tanka reading for the audience over the microphone. It was also a new experience for me to receive an intereview in English. I received many questions, some of which were tough to answer even in my mother tongue. Ms. Louis P. Jones and I built quite a rapport. She listened to 16 pieces of my tanka, and some times she had tears in her eyes. After the 30-minute recording, the producer and Ms. Louis offered me to be appear in a longer program next time. I was very happy, and hope this leads me into another new challenge.

Poets Cafe Fan Page : KPFK Radio-LA 90.7FM ROUDOKU&Interview

click here to listen to the interview


Monday, March 24, 2014

26, Nov. 2012 attended the P.E.N. Day social gathering hosted by the Japan P.E.N. club.


It was a distinct honor for me of meeting Professor Donald Keene at the gathering of the P.E.N. Day (hosted by the Japan P.E.N. Club).
I was very much moved with Prof. Keene's friendliness when he talked with each one of us, as well as his peace-loving, positive approach toward life.
Prof. Keene's wonderful personality attracted me like a magnet.
I strongly believe we devote ourselves even more than before into creation of Japanese literature, that Prof. Keene cherish and love.
Pressing Prof. Keene's words to my heart, I will keep making efforts for writing and reading Tanka.

Monday, November 26, 2012