Haikus and katanas

About haiku composition in Ghost of Tsushima.

Miguel Adrover
2 min readAug 23, 2020


Samurai Takezaki Suenaga fighting back Mongolian warriors, during the Battle of Bun’ei, in 1274 / Public domain

I bought this game a few weeks ago. It’s sprawling and poetic beauty, set during the Mongolian Invasions of Japan, compelled me to collect — and publish — some haikus I’ve written, using the constraints set by the Kurosawa-esque game. These poems are not created from scratch. When the hero finds a suitable spot for inspiration — usually a circular floor matt and some writing utensils — he sits. Hauntingly beautiful music is triggered*, a topic is given, and the game generates 9 verses. The player chooses 3 to compose the piece. Once the hero is done, he collects a haiku-themed headband —


Stillness of one’s mind
A lone pebble alters fate
Rising from the depths


Brilliant it blossoms
Peer through the mist and we’ll be
Shattered, but alive


Worries strangle growth
Unafraid, defenders stand
Flourishing and free


Feel the earth below
A cool bed beneath the stars
A sturdy…