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,
Tan-Ku Co-Founder,
Tanka Society of America.

In commemoration of
15 years of tanka reading
The Latest Tanka Sequence
Original Tanka presented at
Spoken World Live

Contemprary Tanka Poet Mariko Kitakubo. Media coverage.

I am grateful that Shot Glass Journal, an online poetry magazine, has published three new Tan-Ku works that Deborah and I co-wove.

* Click the images below to view the pages in Shot Glass Journal.



The Wait

by Mariko Kitakubo and Deborah P Kolodji

high tide
makes me
defenseless. . .
ancient blue of
the Pacific Ocean (M)

your ship shrinking
into the horizon
I wait ashore (D)



by Deborah P Kolodji and Mariko Kitakubo

morning sunshine
the snow where
you are (D)

invisible now
but I'm sure
flowering power
will surround us (M)



by Mariko Kitakubo and Deborah P Kolodji

this sunset
is only for today
step by step
I'll be able to
start a new life (M)

ocean swallowing
the remaining light
moonrise? (D)

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

I express my gratitude to Mr. A A Marcoff for his wonderful review of DISTANCE in Vol. 33 No. 4 of Blithe Spirit, the poetry magazine of the British Haiku Society.

In his review, Mr. Marcoff compared the book to the works of great musicians like Bach, Matisse, and Cézanne.

I would also like to thank the editors of Blithe Spirit for providing valuable space for the review.





Distance by Mariko Kitakubo, Deborah P Kolodji, Shabda Press, 2023, paperback, 94 pages,

Mariko (Japan) writes tanka. Deborah (California) writes haiku. After the pandemic brought them together on the internet, these two great voices are now become as sisters in poetry, linked across the ocean, and in their book of tanka and haiku in combinations (Tan-Ku), they have composed a magical, sublime duet, improvisations in realities and dreams.

Constructed with echo, counterpoint and reprise, this book seems like a Bach concerto for two interweaving violins. The two poets are dream- travellers, and at times touch the cosmos in a 'Music of the Galaxy'. But in this haiku, we are brought from the stars right down to earth:

of the universe
a boy and his dog

In mirrors of the soul, Distance offers us a little kaleidoscope of everything, in 'emanations' (Matisse) and 'realisations' (Cezanne), that takes us from Samarkand and the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania (with its cradle or creation of the species), to Asakusa and the Senso-ji Temple in Tokyo. Sometimes we are led through a Torii (Shinto gateway) that marks a transition from the mundane to the sacred. These haiku and tanka were created in the spontaneity of the moment out of an emotion heightened by the pandemic. Several times I heard reverberations of the Zen koan, 'show me your face before you were born'.

Both poets are seasoned practitioners, and both are well-travelled. Mariko in particular, by all accounts a deeply impressive performer of her tanka, has taken her art all over the globe, and has made tanka truly international, touching so many hearts and minds:

the antique glass
comes into the world

spring snow
or petals of sakura
falling falling
like ashes in Ukraine

Deborah, Moderator of the Southern California Haiku Study Group, has travelled to Tokyo to do a haiku presentation:

the sea pounding
even in my dreams

bees in soft petals
I open my arms
to the sun

Together they have given us the light of the stars, and the raw beauty and authenticity of things. They write with real flair, with the flow of things (they quote Heraclitus and his concept of 'Panta Rhei' ('Everything flows')), in spontaneous observations and essentials. We are left with the human condition, the way of life itself, couched in small poems that express the inexpressible with wonder. This is a book to love - absolutely. Absolutely in a relative world.

A A Marcoff

Monday, February 5, 2024

The Scarlet Dragonfly Journal, a net poetry journal, posted our new Tan-Ku set appropriate for the Christmas season.

We extend our gratitude to editor Ms. Kathleen Trocmet.
Thank you very much.



Far North

distant sleigh bells
sinking into a dreamland
Christmas (D)

St. Nicolas
left the reins
in the air
salmon pink
aurora (M)

— Deborah P Kolodji, USA / Mariko Kitakubo, Japan


 Move to "Media Coverage"

Monday, December 25, 2023

"Under the Basho" recently published two new Tan-Ku sequences that we created after the release of DISTANCE.

We sincerely appreciate Mr. Clayton Beach, editor of "Under the Basho Journal."

>> Under the Basho / "A Higher Sky" page



>> Under the Basho / "Spring Rain" page


Monday, December 18, 2023





Three short poems

to water sounds
from the beech bark

miss you

the hummingbird
also joins
our breakfast

your shining lips


your sad days

his tanned collarbone

age sixteen

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

English poetry journal "Mariposa" in its Winter Issue 2023 issue #49 published a Tan-Ku set that Deborah and I weaved together.



Through the Torii Gate

Deborah P Kolodji
Mariko Kitakubo

light through trees
a swallowtail follows me
on the garden path (D)

waking up
without anxiety
this morning,
parents are smiling
in my dreams (M)

Friday, December 1, 2023

Red Lights Vol.19 No.2 published my English tanka.

My sincere thanks to the editor, Ms. Marilyn Hazelton.

Thank you very much. 



ring ring
a pay phone
in the ICU corridor,
midnight ...
Mother in my dream

ripen and shine
with sakura berries,
without an audience ...


It included the information in its announcement page about "DISTANCE," the Tan-Ku collection I co-authored with Ms. Debora P Kolodji.



Tuesday, July 4, 2023



In April 2023, while I was in the US, Ms. Deborah P. Kolodji and I received a valuable offer from Ms. Marlena Bond and Ms. Lois P. Jones of KPFK FM to interview for their program "Poets Cafe."

It was about our first Tan-Ku book, "DISTANCE," released by Shabda Press in the same month. The program was designed in such a way so that those who are not familiar with English Haiku, Tanka, and Tan-Ku get an opportunity to understand these short poems.

Mr. Rick Lupert, a well-known organizer of Zoom Reading, "Cobalt Poets," was the host. We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the opportunity to introduce Tan-Ku to the public airwaves. Thank you very much.

The program was on air on May 24, from 2:00 p.m. PST (6:00 a.m. JST on May 25).

If you are interested, please visit Poets Cafe on KPFK.
Please note that our interview lasts about 28 minutes, and the next program starts immediately after.

(Note) In the question-and-answer session, I mistakenly referred to the origin of tanka as 14,000 years ago, but 1,400 years ago is correct.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

English poetry journal "Mariposa" in its Spring/Summer 2023 issue #48 published a Tan-Ku set that Deborah and I weaved together.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the editor Mr. David Grayson. Thank you very much.





Across the Sea

the sea breeze...
I am hiding
in your shadow
on the California beach (M)

my face towards you
the tide comes in
goes out (D)

Mariko Kitakubo & Deborah P Kolodji

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Colorado Boulevard in its Earth Month Issue posted Tan-Ku sets and a sequence I co-authored with Ms. Deborah P Kolodji.


Forest Bathing

uphill path
I slow down to breathe
the pine scent (D)

she perches
at the edge of
my straw hat
a butterfly’s siesta
in emerald breeze (M)

Garden Music

silent blooms
in a camellia forest
pond ripples (D)

tsubaki flower
fringed white
under the moonbow (M)

Following the Strands

of nocturnal
salt water
born from a moon
in Andromeda (M)

of the universe
a boy and his dog (D)

of the double helix
has no ending. . .
ancient dragonfly shadows
by the stream (M)

tar pit
on Wilshire Boulevard
saber-toothed tiger (D)

iridescent tail
of a baby lizard
Goddess Nyx
gives him wings
sherbet moon (M)

the speed of sound
through water
whale song (D)

You may want to check Colorado to view our Tan-Ku.

Sunday, April 23, 2023