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.



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

"Right Hand Pointing" in its issue 151 posted 4 Tan-Ku sets which Ms. Deborah P Kolodji and I created together.




a lavender
bubble bath makes me
the shades of
mum’s yukata (M)

combing out my hair
I close my eyes
and see her face (D)



autumn forest
deepens and deepens
in color
who knows
when I will disappear (M)

chilled by the wind
each step closer
to winter (D)

Mariko Kitakubo and Deborah P Kolodji



Sirius Rising

dog days
my maltipoo and I
stay inside and sleep (D)

the joy
of getting lost . . .
am I in
the sky or ocean?
lapis lazuli (M)


9th Inning

losing streak
the crack as his bat
hits a foul ball (D)

every motion
stops and restarts
slowly . . .
we catch our breath
Gyakuten Sayonara!! (M)

Deborah P Kolodji and Mariko Kitakubo


Move to "Media Coverage" 

Thursday, April 13, 2023

On February 21, PST, (2023.2.22, JST), The Tan-Ku Set, "Resolve" by us (Deborah P Kolodji and me) appeared!

Thank you so much, the Scarlet Dragonfly editor, Kathleen Trocmet.




the purpose
of my life has changed
again . . .
focus on the lady
in the full-length mirror (M)

morning sun comes
through the window
I stand taller (D)

— Mariko Kitakubo, Japan / Deborah P Kolodji, USA


 Move to "Media Coverage"

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Red Lights Vol.19 No.1 posted my English tanka.

My sincere thanks to the editor, Ms. Marilyn Hazelton. Thank you very much.






in a pure white
and deep blue sky
I doze in the air
of the arctic route
where am I?

the stress of jet lag
in front of
an audience of 100 I give
my reading performance


Move to "Media Coverage"

Monday, February 20, 2023

Shot Glass Journal, an internet magazine, posted 3 Tank sets.

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


About Tan-Ku

Tan-ku is a collaborative form we developed where one poet writes a tanka and the other poet answers with a haiku, or vice versa.



Beach in Malaysia

by Deborah P Kolodji and Mariko Kitakubo

grey skies
the blues inside
me (D)

through rainforest
to the cove
accompanied by lightning
and a rainbow (M)



by Deborah P Kolodji and Mariko Kitakubo

early twilight
the angry voices
next door (D)

darkness is hiding
under children's brims
will be a sunny day. . .
after the war (M)



by Deborah P Kolodji and Mariko Kitakubo

milkweed in bloom
a caterpillar hidden
under a leaf (D)

who can
recognize me
the joy
or loss—
metamorphosis (M)

Monday, February 6, 2023

On December 25 PST, (2022.12.26, JST), an online poetry journal "Scarlet Dragonfly Journal" published "The Color Red."

It is a set of English tanka & haiku (Tan-Ku) I created together with Ms. Debora P. Kolodji, my best friend haiku poet.

My sincere thanks to the editor, Ms. Kathleen Trocmet.


The Color Red

a fir tree
in the maple forest
green . . .
melancholy (M)

dressing up drab clothes
with Christmas bling
I feel like singing (D)

— Mariko Kitakubo, Japan / Deborah P Kolodji, USA


Move to "Media Coverage"

Monday, December 26, 2022

Tan-Ku Sequence, The Queen Mary, a collaboration with Ms. Deborah P. Kolodji, will be published on page 40 of California Quarterly Vol. 48 No. 4 Winter 2022.

My sincere thanks to her, the editor of this poetry magazine, and my good friend with whom I have worked together to create Tan-Ku.


I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the California State Poetry Society for the courtesy of sending me a copy by airmail, even though I am not a member of the society.

Thank you very much.




a little girl watches
the ship sail in (D)

father's hand
was big and warm
my story begins
scent of the beach (M)

live band on board
dancing cheek to cheek
at the high school prom (D)

the fruit punch
our poetry
is still in the wind
string quartet (M)

horn blast
a hundred fifty poets
on deck (D)

antique smell...
I meet
an elegant ghost
at the end of the corridor (M)

Deborah P Kolodji
Temple City, California

Mariko Kitakubo
Tokyo, Japan

Thursday, December 15, 2022

#FemkuMag published a Tan-Ku set, "Coming of Age", a collaboration with Ms. Deborah P Kolodji.






Coming of Age

angel hair pasta
her baby tooth
beneath a pillow (D)

first kiss
under the olive tree,
garden party
on this mellow
summer solstice (M)

Deborah P Kolodji and Mariko Kitakubo



Monday, November 21, 2022