The creation and evaluation of a website for learning classical haiku and painting

Hiroo Saga
Edogawa University,
Nagareyama, Japan

This paper discusses and illustrates the author's website on the Japanese poet-painter Yosa Buson (1716–84). The website is divided into three sections: articles on Buson, bibliographic resources and a pictorial catalogue of the haiku and paintings of Buson and his group. The site, which is mostly in both Japanese and English, for the convenience of overseas learners, is receiving an increasing number of hits from both Japan and abroad, and comments in the guestbook and direct e-mails to the site author attest to its popularity.

Access trends were analysed and, to improve the structure and content of the site, a formative evaluation by college students was undertaken. Online courseware based on this site was also developed as a directory for learning Japanese language through haiku. Using WebCT and only Japanese language, the online courseware comprises ten units divided into two major parts, the first on Buson's painting and the second on his haiku. A formative evaluation comparing the open website and the online courseware was conducted. In addition, a special directory within the open Buson site was created for visitors to learn Japanese language through classical haiku using Italian. The directory consists of the main index page, an introduction page, four seasonal index pages, ten haiku pages containing Japanese original haiku characters, roman characters of the original haiku, Japanese visual calligraphy of haiku, and audio streaming of the Japanese reading of the poem and an Italian translation and interpretation of the haiku poem.