It is the solemn duty of every samurai to study the arts, cultivating both observation and imagination.
Seek out tranquil places to focus your mind. Each haiku rewards a new headband.
― In-game description.
Jin Sakai can compose a Haiku (俳句) during his journeys in Ghost of Tsushima. A Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry with a 5-7-5 syllable structure, with a focus in writing about serious topics by referencing metaphors from nature.
After finding specific locations on the island of Tsushima, press to have Jin sit down and compose a haiku. Each haiku has a particular theme, with the player being tasked in creating their own version of the poem from predetermined lines offered. There are a total of 19 haiku: 16 in the open world, rewarding cosmetic headbands that the player can use to change Jin's appearance; 3 are found as part of Tales.
Once Jin sits down, the player's camera will be fixed, gazing upon the scenery that Jin looks upon. The theme of the Haiku will then show up on the screen as "Reflect on X," ranging from spiritual topics such as serenity or strife, to topics such as the invasion.
To start composing a Haiku piece, the player has to look around this scenery for one of three "points of interest" (visible as circles on the screenscape) which will reveal a line of the poem; sometimes, one or two of the points of interest will be far off-screen or hidden. Once one of these lines is selected, the scene will change, taking a closer look at parts of the whole scenery and revealing another set of three "points of interest." This will happen once more, for a total of three lines selected.
With all three lines selected, the poem is complete and Jin will poetically read off what the player has selected. During this reading, a cinematic of the pretty scenery will be showcased.
For open world Haiku pieces, completing a Haiku provides a cosmetic headband that is related to the Haiku's theme. In the description of the headbands, the poem will be saved.
- Hiyoshi #1: Explore Hiyoshi Springs and you'll find a man sitting on a rock in the hills North of the town. He'll call out to you and give you a quick Haiku tutorial, but there won't be a regular Haiku icon until you're done speaking with him.
- Headband of Serenity
- Hiyoshi #2: South of Old Woodsman's Canopy
- Headband of Peace
- Komoda: Near Wolf Cub Falls
- Headband of Defeat
- Azamo: South of Kuta Grasslands, where the river empties into the sea
- Headband of the Invasion
- Ariake: On the small island in the middle of Lake Izuhara
- Headband of Refuge
- Kashine: Head west of Shigenori Peak, right next to a Pillar of Honor
- Headband of Fear
- Komatsu: In the middle of Black Sands Inlet
- Headband of Strife
- Tsutsu: north of Ohama Fishing Village
- Headband of Death
- Akashima: South of Old Kanazawa Marsh, where the river meets the ocean
- Headband of Uncertainty
- Umugi: Field of Equinox Flowers
- Headband of Perseverance
- Otsuna: South of Musashi Coast, south of the river
- Headband of Survival
- Kushi: North of Benkei's Falls
- Headband of Preservation
- Kubara: East of Kubara Forest
- Headband of Rebirth
- Kin: North of Kin Sanctuary
- Headband of Ruin
- Sago: West of Guardian's Ridge, along the coast
- Headband of Hope
- Jogaku: At the northernmost peak of Whaler's Coast
- Headband of Strength
- Gonoura #1: Waterfall Haiku, near Lone Spirit Falls.
- Headband of Solace
- Gonoura #2: Wisteria Haiku, at Senjo Gorge.
- Headband of Regret
- Yahata: Mountainside Haiku, north of Tatsu's Ladder, east of Minato's Camp
During certain Tales, Jin will find himself writing out Haiku during a story segment, usually as part of a self-reflection for a story event. These do not offer any cosmetics, thus are not saved in the typical fashion. The following is the list of Tale-related Haiku.
- Ghosts from the Past (Reflect on Legacy)
- The Proud Do Not Endure (Reflect on Impermanence)
- The Tale of Lord Shimura (Reflect on Loss)
- The Blessing of Death (Reflect on your Father's Death)
- The Haiku as it is known is relatively new, coming around as early as the 1600s, but didn't receive a proper name until the late 1800s/early 1900s. The 5-7-5 beat format derives from being the first part of the 5-7-5-7-7 beat format of the more traditional poem called a Tanka (短歌; lit. "short verse") that was practiced for centuries prior to the Haiku.  
- Alternatively, the 5-7-5 format can be found in a Renga (連歌; lit. "linked verse") where one person would compose the first verse called a Hokku (the 5-7-5) and the next would compose a 7-7 follow up, then a third would go into another 5-7-5, and so on. Frequently done at parties while the poets drank.
- As a result, it may be acceptable that Jin is composing instead a Hokku, with the studio using the term "haiku" for familiarity.
- In the Japanese localization of the game, the Haiku are written as Tanka poems (even being written in a 5-7-5-7-7 format) and are called "Waka" (和歌; lit. "Japanese poem"), thus being more historically accurate.
- The localization also offers a modern translation of the poem that explains the meaning of the poem, as the original poems are written using and recited in old Japanese.