Zappai (雑俳?) is a form of Japanese poetry, distinct from senryū and haiku, though sharing a common origin in haikai.[1] The Haiku Society of America has defined the form as "an old Japanese category, zappai, miscellaneous amusements in doggerel verse (usually written in 5-7-5) with little or no literary value."[2].

A more sympathetic look at the form is provided by Kato Ikuya in his 1996 book, Is Japan a Haiku country:

Zappai means: other haikai schools with a wide variety of uncategorized styles; it does not mean pseudo-haikai [un- or non-formal haikai]. Suzuki Katsutada defined zappai this way: 'Zappai can be defined as haikai in which human feelings are composed in hiraku form, which cannot be incorporated into existing haikai." It is quite displeasing that zappai has been looked down upon in relation to ordinary haikai.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Richard Gilbert and Shinjuku Rollingstone. The Distinct Brilliance of Zappai: and the Need to Reconsider its HSA Definition in Simply Haiku V3n1
  2. HSA Definitions

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