Reading performance in Japan and overseas. 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. Reading Performance.

Tanka reading performance oveseas.

Aug. 4, at the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Aug. 3, at the Wednesday Tanka Meeting in Pasadena.

Friday, August 5, 2016

2th. Aug. 2016 Japanese - English bilingual tanka reading at Scenic Drive Galley Monrovia , CA by Ms.Susan Dobay.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

31st,July 2016 at the Poetry Fes. in N.Y.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Tanka Reading performance at the Poets House in N.Y. 30th,July 2016
Thank you so so much my sweetest friend, Debbie.

<Poets House>

Literary Partners Program presents: Coast to Coast Poetry Press Collective Kray Hall


Sunday, July 31, 2016


at the Thursday Poetry Meeting.
Thank you so much for the amazing and spiritual opinions for my performance!


Friday, July 29, 2016

at the Wednesday Poetry Meeting.
''Reunion'' of my dearest friends in CA!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

the Tanka Reading performance at First Presbyterian Church,Altadena CA. on 26th July. My dearest Joyce Futa, Thank you so much for arranging this wonderful opportunity to introduce Tanka.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tanka reading at the Bolton Hall Museum in CA, US on 24th, July,2016.
Our dearest friend, Maja Trochimczyk, Thank you so much for inviting me ! and Thank you Kathabela Wilson, for your beautiful Poetry and music. Thank you Rick Wilson ,for your nice music of the Shakuhachi
Ms. Maja Trochimczyk, the organizer of the event.
The feature of the event, two gentlemen at the front row, and the poets who made presentations. Ms. Kathabela Wilson, Mr. Rick Wilson, and myself are very honored to be invited as the guest! Ms. Maja Trochimczyk, thank you very much!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016




Speech by Ms. Kathabela Wilson, the secretary of the Tanka Society of America. "The reason why I write tanka."

Ms. K. Wilson told us that she started writing tanka in 2007 when she heard my tanka reading performance at Pacific Asia Museum, although she did not know about tanka at all before that.
In addition, she expressed that tanka is just like spiritual home, or mother to her.

On the stage, she suggested to present the tanka sequence titled "The green rain" which she and I wrote while we stayed in Karuizawa. It was the first time for her to stay in Karuizawa.

Having been suprised at her sudden suggestion, and felt very honored at the same time, I thought it was more natural and better to accept her offer. I had no intention to be rude, but stepped forward to the platform.

Our brand new sequence reads as follows;

"The green rain"

a new life
with my dear friend
from a long distance
in the green rain (Mariko)

in the iris garden
bloom together
eye to eye
opening day (Kathabela)

of Japanese larch
early summer--
long time ago maybe
I was a sapling too(Mariko)

I was a deep green moss
hiding for centuries
on old trees
waiting (Kathabela)


Short movie offered by the audience.

A member of Tanka Journal presented a speech titled "The reason why I write Tanka in English." I talked about the following content and performed four pieces of tanka reading in my presentation, "The Tanka Seends."

My dream is "Planting the Tanka seeds all around the world."
One decade has passed since I started bilingual tanka reading in order to introduce Tanka to the people abroad - I have made 81 reading performances in 26 cities worldwide.

Actually, I am back from Africa, Tanzania, Dodoma National Universitiy 2 months ago. I will be in New York next month, and in September, I will attend the Haiku event to be held in Pune, India.

I still feel it is not enough. Of course, I will continue making efforts to write higher-quality tanka, and at the same time, I would like to deliver Japanese poetical imagination and traditional original prosodies inherited form the era of "Manyo" to the people of different countries.

bettween the date
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
my sweat seeps
into the small puncture hole
where they drew my blood

cobalt blue
was my favorite color...
I could see it
in atomic wast

I'd like to
believe in eternity...
one noon
beside the acacia tree
an elephant and the baby

pure indigo
settles down
in my heart
when I cross the border ...
I'd like to die as a wanderer



Having requested by Ms. Marilyn Hazelton, the president of the Tanka Society of America, I performed bilingual tanka reading in the evening of the festival of the piece which was posted in the TSA facebook page.

Tanka has the power to heal our broken heart.
That can help us from the helpless terrible situation.

I noticed that beside my Mother's bed in ICU Hospital. She was sleeping like a beautiful baby or a quiet Christmas Rose....
I kept writing tanka every day, every moment to keep myself during her last 17days.

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

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

With Pr. Lakshmanan & Ayako Seto.
At the class of Pr. Lakshmanan.
In the class of Prof. Lakshmanan, who is specialized in linguistics and literature, I performed bilingual Tanka reading of three pieces from "Manyo-shu" and some contemporary Tanka with the theme of Africa. I was glad all students listened to my presentation eagerly.
Maybe I am able to see Prof. Lakshmanan again in India when I visit there to participate in World haiku Utsav this autumn!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The weather in Dodoma was so refreshing that it was tough to believe it is a rainy season.
With Pr. Madoshi John Peter.
performance_2016_04_19_05.jpg Tanka Reading performance to introduce Tanka at the class of Pr.Modashi J.Peter.19.April.
I was able to present the Tanka reading thanks to the great help of poetry and literature Prof. Madoshi John Peter of Dodoma University.

"Let's begin the Tanzania's first Tanka study in this class." I was deeply impressed with his comments.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

At the Japanese language extra lesson's school in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Sharing the sweets that I bought from Japan, we had a Tanka learning session in a friendly atmosphere.
At first, I asked everyone to tell us his/her name, a grade, favorite food, and favorite animal as a self-introduction so that we could get to know each other.
performance_2016_04_15_02.jpg The class was composed of the students from the first to the sixth graders. Everyone is so cute!
They reminded me of the days when I was a teacher at a Sunday school.

I asked everyone to write Tanka in 10 days and present the work to the class on April 25th. I promised to play percussion as the background sound for their presentation.
I offered them several samples with some blank lines in which the students can fill the words they feel fit.
I put the numbers on the color pencils that I bought in Dodoma city. We used this as the lottery to decide the order of the presentation.
April 25th.

The students were having fun to present their Tanka to the class. They mastered the 5-7 syllable rhythm. Inspired by the classmates' work, they were able to write Tanka impromptu. Wonderful!!

When I brought out the best in each one's work, more and more hands were raised, and more and more Tanka were presented.

Interaction with these obedient, cute and talented children was a wonderful experience in my third visit to Tanzania.

Principal Tanaka, thank you very much for the wonderful opportunity.

Friday, April 15, 2016

I am going to perform English-Japanese bilingual tanka reading performance on April 18th, 2016, at "the eastern Asia Event" to be held at the University of Dodoma in the capital of Tanzania.  I am looking forward to the presentation because it will be the wonderful opportunity to introduce tanka to those who have never listend to it.

For those who reside there and helped giving me such an opportunity, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude for your cooperation.

The report about the event will be made later in my website.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Jan. 30, 2016.

Wearing Kanga*, the Tanzanian textile, on top of kimono, I performed bilingual tanka reading. 
Ms. Fushihara kindly lend me this Kanga.
performance_2016_01_30_03.jpg I was very grald to get together with Prof. Tsujimura of Kyoto Univ., and Mr. Nemoto, the representative of JATA Tours, whom I owe many obligations when I visited Tanzania 14 years ago.
 Ms. Fushihara, thank you very much for your support.
I was able to spend quality time!
I was very happy to have Mr. John Einarsen and Mr. Ken Rodgers of Kyoto Journal.  Thank you very much for taking time to join us in your busy schedule.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

performance_2015_12_07_01.jpg I did my 14th reading performance of 2015 in Japan, at my best firend Ms. Kris Moon's exhibition. It was a great opportunity for me to perform reading in front of international artists. Ms. Mayumi Mori, the owner of Gallery Cafe George, thank you very much.

Monday, December 7, 2015

2015_10_21_01.jpg Oct. 21, 2015
I performed tanka reading at Wednesday tanka meeting. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all the audience gathered, and to Mr. Rick Wilson, who always add wonderful touch to my reading with his Shakuhachi flute.
2015_10_22_01.jpg Oct. 22,
I did bilingual tanka reading at Thursday Tanka Meeting held in Ms. Kathabela Wilson's house.  This is a series of meetings, of which attendants change everyday.  Although I used up all of my energy for the sessions, I am more than happy to be of their assistance.
201510_23_01.jpg Oct. 23,
At the tea house in Storrier Steams Garden, a wonderful Japanese garden in Pasadian, CA, I participated in trilingual tanka reading - Japanese, English, and Vietnamese - with Ms. Teresa M. C., a brilliant English poet. Having been wrapped with the silence, singing of insencts was the only sound we heard from the outside.  It was a wonderful environment for tanka reading session!  My sincerest thanks to the owner and his wife for having us here.  
2015_10_24_01.jpg Oct. 24,
Saturday Tanka Poetry Party held at Ms. Kathabela Wilson's house.  Ms. Teresa M. C., a brilliant English poet and I performed trilingual tanka reading - Japanese, English, and Vietnamese.
2015_10_26_01.jpg Oct. 26,
Bilingual tanka reading at Nursing Home in Santa Barbara.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Oct. 18, 2015

Performed tanka reading at "Tanka Sunday", which is a program of HNA, Haiku Northern America, held at Union College in Albany, NY.
performance_2015_10_18_02.jpg.jpg It was my second reading at HNA, following the previous session at Queen Mary. This time again, the audience was fabulous!
performance_2015_10_18_03.jpg.jpg I would like to extend my sincere gratitude toward to everyone who spent wonderful time together untill late at night.
performance_2015_10_18_08.jpg Although it was rather tight travelling schedule for me because I came to the US one week after I returned Japan from Switzerland, I felt very happy when I received a comment from the audience, saying, "I want to soak in tanka longer next time..."

Friday, October 23, 2015

Sept. 29, 2015

At Ehemaliges Kloster Mariaberg, Rorschach, Switzerland.

It was my first Tanka reading peformance in Switzerland.
With Ms. Ruth Zuckschwerdt, who made a lot of efforts to make this performance come ture.

Dear Ruth, thank you very much for everything!
Audience in the front row passionately listened to our performance.  

I am very glad that many others came to this event.
We spent some time for a pleasant talk after the performance.
With Ms.Valeria Barouch.

She has been interested in my reading performance and recitation activities in and out of Japan.

This time, she listened to my reading while taking video of my perfromance so that it can be used in her poetry & literature group to get to know more about Tanka.

I am very happy about it.
I was very, very happy that many people of different ages, from students to retirees, came to the performance.

The ceiling is covered with the colorful paintings of biblical stories.

I was very honored to be able to perform my reading in the historical building from the 15th century.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My typical Japanese - English bilingual tanka reading audio is uploaded!

If you wish, click the play button on the left of my website.

I hope you enjoy.

BGM; "Shakuhachi", a Japanese flute, by Rick Wilson,
Hamohn, Tibetan bells, Rain Stick and Acacia Pods by Mariko Kitakubo

* The audio is posted on the website of poetry journal Rattle Vol. 47.


Friday, August 21, 2015