On March 11, 2011, the students of junior high school “A” in Onagawa were impacted by the tsunami that followed the Great East Japan Earthquake. In May 2011, two months after the disaster, the students in the “haiku-renku school program” composed haikus, which were recorded onto DVDs and rocketed to outer space. This study employed the Kl-method to examine these haikus and the written impressions of the students’ experiences of the haiku composition program about one year after its completion.
According to the results, (a) the first graders survived their suffering by enthusiastically creating a slogan-like phrase; (b) the second graders developed a sense of collective unity and security by reading each other’s haikus, and (c) the third graders’ will to their restoration encouraged themselves in writing. Students said that haiku composition was not easy because of the limit placed on words. However, using short expressions allowed them to express themselves directly.
The results suggest that the fixed form of haiku (i.e., a rhythmical syllable pattern of 5-7-5) is very useful in safely expressing students’ experiences of the disaster. Moreover, the perspective of space brings a sense of mutual connectedness. Therefore, we conclude that the “haiku-renku school program” provided good psychological self-help for students after the disaster.