What's New. Information on upcoming reading performance, newly issued books and more. 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.

Eucalypt, an Australian tanka journal, published in its Issue 33, 2022 my tanka poem about my trip to a Northern European country for reading performance.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to Ms. Julie Anne Thorndyke, the editor of Eucalypt.


long flight
to Stockholm
july 2022
of Russian airspace

Thursday, December 8, 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


On October 26, from 4:00 p.m. PST (October 27, from 8:00 a.m. JST), I participated in the Wednesday Poetry Meeting hosted by Kathabela Wilson and read three pieces of new tanka and haiku sequences that I composed with Ms. Deborah P. Kolodji.

Many comments and opinions were raised by the participants, and I think it was a meaningful opportunity for me because I was able to realize once again poetry is a way to inspire each other through our creativity regardless of the language in which the poems are written. Thank you very much.

I would like to devote myself even more to creating poems keeping in mind my pride, responsibility, and confidence as a Tanka poet.

After the meeting, Ms. Kathabela Wilson posted a wonderful message:

Amazing Wednesday meeting Poets on site zoom welcoming, grateful listening to three beautiful sequences "Tan-Ku" (tanka/ Haiku sequences) by Mariko Kitakubo in Tokyo, Japan, and Deborah P Kolodji, Temple City, California, with discussion and questions, heart to heart with Kris Kondo Maxianne Berger, Sigrid Saradunn , Richard Matta, Rita Melisiano. Beautiful performance including Mariko percussion, and inspirations from Rick Wilson on jade Chinese dizi , hummingbirds and squirrels and your Kathabela! We started with a short collaborative session of cherita and gembun collaboratively writing little 4 and 6 line stories in real time on a shared screen by Mariko, Kris, Maxianne, Debbie, Rita, and Kathabela. This meeting began inside our living room gallery, with the last half hour out on our balcony! That's when the hummingbirds and squirrels joined in!


Move to "Reading Performance"

Thursday, October 27, 2022

On September 10, an online poetry journal "Scarlet Dragonfly Journal" published "Beach House."  It is a set of English tanka & haiku I created together with Ms. Debora P. Kolodji, my best friend haiku poet.

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



Beach House

the iridescent
splash still there
after your dive...
eternal summer
eternal ocean (M)

the sea pounding
even in my dreams
dolphins (D)

— Mariko Kitakubo, Japan / Deborah P Kolodji, USA


Move to "Media Coverage"

Saturday, September 10, 2022

On August 6 at 3:00 pm PST (August 7 at 7:00 am JST), Mr. Rick Lupert, a poet, hosted the Hiroshima Day Zoom reading event. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Lupert for selecting me as one of the four performers, including the organizer, for the event.

I put my heart and soul into my Japanese-English tanka reading performance to deliver my message beyond the language.

Mr. Lupert's poems about his experience in Hiroshima were so moving that I almost shed tears. The songs & guitar performances by Ms. Cantor Aviva Rosenbloom and Mr. Joel Siegel were truly soul-stirring and inspirational.

It was a deep and intense time that made me realize once again that there are no national borders in our hearts for peace and prayers to appease the precious souls that took away from us.

Thank you all for this precious time.


Please watch the event video on Facebook.

Hiroshima Day Commemoration and Reading from The Tokyo-Van Nuys Express

Although the video froze for a while in the middle of my performance, the audience commented that they could feel the spirit of the reading from the audio alone. In a sense, it was an unintended experimental effect for me.


Move to "Reading Performance"

Sunday, August 7, 2022

On July 31, from 6 pm PST (August 1, from 10 am JST), I was invited to the 11th-anniversary reading event of Shabda Press, an American publisher, and performed a Japanese-English tanka reading.

I appreciate all the help and support for the publication of INDIGO in 2016. It was my 6th collection of tanka poems and was the first anthology published without self-financing.

The participants in the event were all poets who have been deeply involved in the company's publications. Deep, meaningful, and powerful messages in their unique and original poems moved my soul.

I am very honored by the offer to publish a new collection in 2023. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Ms. Chúc Mỹ Tuệ, the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Shabda Press.


Please watch the video of the event!

1:04:00 Ms. Chúc Mỹ Tuệ's introduction about me
1:05:29 Japanese-English tanka reading (from INDIGO)
1:25:27 English haiku & tanka sequence with Ms. Deborah P. Kolodji


Move to "Reading Performance"

Monday, August 1, 2022

July 31st, 18:00 PST (August 1st 10:00 JST), I will participate in Shabda Press 11th Anniversary Reading Event and present a reading.



Move to "What's New"

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Thank you so much, Ms. Autumn Noelle Hall for using my tanka for "Tanka Studio'' about Ukraine.





Tanka Studio: Ukraine

our smile
in the old frame
where are you?
empty beaches
in Ukraine

Move to "Tanka Society of America" 

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Two sequences that Ms. Deborah P. Kolodji and I composed have been published in the online poetry magazine "Dashboard Horus: A Bird's Eye View of the Universe".

My sincere thanks to the editor, Marie C Lecrivain.

Click here to view our sequences on "Dashboard Horus: A Bird's Eye View of the Universe" website.





by Deborah P Kolodji and Mariko Kitakubo

tourists pose
by the thunder gate
jinrika-sha (D)

cherry petals
were dancing
at Senso-ji
together in the photo
us with incense smoke (M)

red-faced in the wind
of a spring day
paper lantern (D)

a couple
of Nioh watches us
since we visited
sweet rain
of Asakusa (M)

my last package
of Matcha sweet treats
empty suit cases (D)

am I
happy liveliness
from that April
pale blue sky (M)

© 2022 Deborah P Kolodji & Mariko Kitakubo


Meiji Jingu

by Deborah P Kolodji & Mariko Kitakubo

sun on the water
an egret meditates
in the shrine garden (D)

shining circles
around us
like waterfowl,
our thankful prayer (M)

I write my heart
too soon for irises
in the inner garden (D)

the leaf
looks like a sword ...
please don't bring us
another war (M)

crossing the bridge
I am lost
in the forest (D)

how many Torii
did I go thorough?
the next gate
will be welcoming (M)

© 2022 Deborah P Kolodji & Mariko Kitakubo


Move to "Media Coverage"

Friday, July 22, 2022

On July 19, 2022, I presented a tanka reading performance in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, for about one hour from 18:00.

I was happy to provide an opportunity for those who usually study haiku and poetry to experience the unique language rhythm and kimono culture of Japan.

I would like to thank everyone who came to the event despite the extreme heat of 40℃ during the daytime, which is rare even for the local area.


Move to "Reading Performance"

Tuesday, July 19, 2022