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編集 蛭田秀法

Edited by Hidenori Hiruta










The 3rd International Haiku Forum 


The 1st International Haiku Forum was held in celebration of the 29th National Cultural Festival in Akita 2014 at the Akita International University in Japan, October 25, 2014.  As a result, cultural exchanges through haiku have spread throughout the world.

The next year, 2015, the 2nd International Haiku Forum was held, following the big success of the forum in the previous year.  As a result, the participants there got more and more interested in international haiku through appreciating the excellent works of the Japan-Russia Haiku Contest.   

This year, 2017, the 3rd International Haiku Forum is held to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the foundation of Akita International Haiku Association. This forum is held so that it makes a good opportunity for international haiku to spread further among haikuists and haiku lovers as well as among citizens and students in Akita Prefecture.


Participants:  Haikuists, haiku lovers, citizens, and students

Date:  Saturday, 7th October, 2017, 11:00 – 12:00 a.m.

Venue:  Akita International University, Auditorium (4th Floor of A Building)

6th Japan-Russia Haiku Contest:  The announcement of the winning works

                                                                        and the Award Ceremony

Memorial Lecture:  “International Leap of Akita HAIKU”

                                            by Jin Wada (President of Akita International Haiku    Association)

Award Ceremony:  “International Haiku Contribution Award”

Haiku Talk: “About English Haiku”

                            by Hidenori Hiruta (Member of Haiku International Association)

Organizers: Akita International Haiku Network,

                          Akita International Haiku Association

Sponsor:       Akita Sakigake Shimpo

Supporters:  Akita Prefecture, Akita International University, Akita City,

                            The Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry,

                            The Ishii Rogetsu Society,

                            Japan Broadcasting Corporation Akita Station,

                            Haiku International Association ,

                            The UNESCO Promotion Council





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編集 蛭田秀法

Edited by Hidenori Hiruta


On May 29, 2017, Alexander Dolin says in his e-mail as follows.

Please find attached the file containing 100 haiku by the Russian poets, members of our almanac “Wild Flowers”.

Here we have the works by the winners of a special contest organized for the further promotion of Russo-Japanese poetic contacts on the basis of haiku.

I would appreciate if you could publish the file on the Akita International Haiku… website – better in this bilingual format. Probably the Japanese translation is not so necessary, but of course, if you would like to provide some of the poems with a Japanese version it might be an additional contribution to the project.



Here are five photos and haiku on Yokote Kamakura Snow Festival, dedicated to the members of the almanac “Wild Flowers” by Hidenori Hiruta.



Here is a report on Yokote Kamakura Snow Festival.


A fantastic world appearing on a snow country evening.

Chatting with children in rooms made of snow.

A room made by carving out a mound of snow is called a kamakura. In Yokote City, more than 100 kamakura and countless miniature kamakura are made. The candle lights of these snow white kamakura produce a quiet, beautiful spectacle against the darkness. This 400 year old festival is said to have its origins in the traditional event of returning

New Year decorations to the gods by burning them, and also in the custom of children chasing away birds damaging crops. Inside the kamakura, an altar is set up to honor the water gods and to pray for plenty of clear water, while sake and rice cakes are offered to the gods. Passers-by are invited by the children, in Akita dialect, to come inside the kamakura and drink some sweet fermented rice brew. Everyone has a good time chatting while eating rice cakes and sweets, which is the conventional way of spending time in kamakura. On the other hand, numerous rows of tiny kamakura stand in the grounds of the Yokote Minami Primary School in the city, with the lights shining from within creating a very romantic scene.

Prior to the above festival, the Kamakura Matsuri is held in Akita Furusatomura, where you can experience stepping inside a kamakura. From the end of January to the end of February, famous festivals of Akita Prefecture are represented here, where you can learn about winter in Akita.

At the Yokote Fureai-Center Kamakura House, kamakura displays can be seen all year round.

By Hidenori Hiruta


Dear haiku friends,

We hope that you enjoy your haiku lives.

We also hope that you will have time to send your haiku to the contest.

Your submission  makes Haiku Planet flourish like flowers in spring.

We are looking forward to the safe arrival of your haiku.

Best wishes,

Akita International Haiku Network


Here is a photo of cherry blossoms in Akita, the northern Honshu, Japan.



The 6th Japan-Russia Haiku Contest 

(Guidelines for Submission)


In 2012, the 1st Japan -Russia Haiku Contest was launched with the help of JAPAN

CENTER IN VLADIVOSTOK as one of the links with the cultural exchange between Japan and Russia, wishing to provide an opportunity to mutually share haiku related to the theme of “the sea” (The Sea of Japan) which connects Japan and Russia.

The organizer hoped that the contest would serve as an opportunity to deepen mutual understanding among people, to promote the interaction of people’s views on Japan and Russia, as well as to convey the enjoyment of reading or composing haiku.

The organizer also hoped that it would serve as an opportunity to strengthen and develop the sister city relationship between Akita and Vladivostok, as well as to promote and increase cultural exchanges between Akita Prefecture and Primorsky Region.

The Akita International Haiku Network has held the Japan-Russia Haiku Contest since 2012, because the contests ended in a great success. In particular, in the 5th Japan-Russia Haiku Contest in 2016, more than1,100 haiku were submitted from 60 countries.

In 2017, the organizers sincerely hope that the 6th Japan-Russia haiku contest will flourish more worldwide, and that haiku can deepen mutual understanding and enjoyment of different cultures between those people who read or compose the poem.

As a result, the organizers wish haiku could help make the world peaceful.

Please submit your haiku according to the guidelines below.


Organizers: Akita International Haiku Network,   

                            Akita International Haiku Association

Sponsors:   JAL Foundation, Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Akita City

Supporters:  Akita Prefecture, Akita International University,    

                       Akita Prefectural Board of Education, Akita International Association,

                       Akita City Board of Education, Akita Association of English Studies,

                       The Akita Sakigake Shimpo, Haiku International Association,  

                       The International University of Kagoshima,

                       Japan Culture Club at Japan Center in Vladivostok,

                       Primorsky Region,  Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok City,   

                       Yosano Akiko Memorial Literary Society

Eligibility: The contest is open to the public of any nationality in the world

Entry: Only one haiku is allowed to be submitted per haiku poet.

Theme:  “flowers, or anything ”

Submission Guideline:

Original, previously unpublished haiku should be submitted according to the entry form. There are three sections of Japanese haiku, Russian haiku, and English haiku. One of the languages has to be chosen from among Japanese, Russian, and English in composing and submitting haiku.


Japanese Haiku Section:                                               

Please download the entry form below in Japanese and submit it by email to:

Japanese Section 日本語部門  (pdf file)

Russian Haiku Section:                                                  

Please download the entry form below in Russian and submit it by email to:

Russian Section    ロシア語部門  (Word file)

English Haiku Section:                                               

Please download the entry form below in English and submit it by email to:

English Section    英語部門  (Word file)


Submission period:  Monday May 1, 2017  –  Friday June 30, 2017

Deadline: Friday June 30, 2017


Japanese Haiku Section:  Shoji Muto, Seiji Tateoka, Jin Wada, Shohaku Shima,

                                               Kazuhiro Kudo, Yoshitomo Igarashi, Kyoko Uchimura,

                                              Reina Yano

Russian Haiku Section:   Alexander Dolin

English Haiku Section:  David McMurray, Satoru Kanematsu, Ben Grafström,

                                            Hidenori Hiruta


Three winners of each haiku section will be notified by email at the beginning of October, 2017 and announced on the website of Akita International Haiku Network ( . Winner’s haiku and haiku of honorable mention are also posted with translations of the two other languages on the website.

Akita Prefectural Governor’s Award is presented to the best haiku in the Japanese section.

Akita City Mayor’s Award is presented to the best haiku in the Russian section.

Akita International University President’s Award is presented to the best haiku in the English section.

JAL Foundation Award and Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry President’s  Award are also presented to one of the honorable mentions in each section by the sponsors above mentioned.

Each winner is presented with the certificate and prize.


Contact: Akita International Haiku Network (

                 Please inquire by e-mail only.








Here is a photo of cherry blossoms in Akita, the northern Honshu,  Japan .




(Основные условия участия в конкурсе и подачи заявки)


В мае 2012 г. Международное веб-сообщество хайку префектуры Акита (Akita International Haiku Network) объявило о проведении Первого японо-российского конкурса хайку, который должен был послужить поводом для любителей японской культуры и литературы объединить свои творческие усилия вокруг темы «Море», поскольку море (Японское море) соединяет Японию и Россию. За время проведения конкурса нам были присланы тысячи хайку из более чем 50 стран.

Организаторы надеются, что конкурс даст возможность участникам творческими средствами выразить свою поддержку взаимопонимания между народами Японии и России, а также получить удовольствие от сочинения хайку и внести свой вклад в дело укрепления отношений между городами-побратимами Акитой и Владивостоком, между префектурой Акита и Приморским краем.

В 2017 г. организаторы искренне надеются, что ШЕСТОЙ японо-российский конкурс хайку будет еще более представительным, и что хайку сможет способствовать углублению взаимопонимания между народами, а также дать возможность представителям разных культур получить удовольствие от сочинения и чтения стихов. Организаторы также надеются, что хайку принесет мир всему миру.


Организаторы: Международное веб-сообщество префектуры Акита (Япония, Akita International Haiku, Senryu, Tanka Network )

При участии  Международной ассоциации хайку префектуры Акита


Спонсоры: Фонд JAL (Japan Airlines, JAL Foundation), Торгово-промышленная палата преф. Акита


Поддержку осуществляют:

Префектура Акита, Международный университет Акита, Совет по образованию префектуры Акита, Ассоциация международных связей города Акита, Совет по образованию города Акита, Ассоциация английского языка Акита, Газета «Акита Сакигакэ Симпо», Международный университет Кагосима,», а также Клуб при АНО «Японский центр по развитию торгово-экономических связей», филиал в г. Владивосток, Приморский край, Дальневосточный федеральный университет, г. Владивосток, Литературное общество им. Ёсано Акико, г. Владивосток.

Мы приглашаем вас прислать на конкурс свои хайку в соответствии со следующими положениями:


Срок приема заявок:  1.05.2017 (пн.)  – 30.06.2017 (пт.)

Право на участие:  конкурс открыт для участия граждан любых стран без ограничений.

Текст:  каждый участник конкурса имеет право представить только одно хайку, ранее нигде не публиковавшееся.

Тема: «ЦВЕТЫ»


японский, русский или английский
Как посылать заявку на участие в конкурсе: оригинальное, ранее не публиковавшееся хайку следует присылать на прилагаемом бланке заявки. Поскольку существует три секции – японская, русская и английская, – хайку разрешается представлять только на одном из трех языков по выбору участника.


Секция хайку на японском языке: пожалуйста, загрузите прилагаемый бланк заявки и пришлите на адрес

(страница вебсайга Akita International Haiku, Senryu, Tanka Network


Japanese Section Application Form  日本語部門  (pdf file)

Секция хайку на русском языке: пожалуйста, загрузите прилагаемый бланк заявки и пришлите на адрес

Бланк заявки

Russian Section Application Form    ロシア語部門 (Word file)

Секция хайку на английском языке: пожалуйста, загрузите прилагаемый бланк заявки и пришлите на адрес

English Section Application Form  英語部門  (Word file)


Состав жюри:

Секция хайку на японском языке: Муто Сёдзи, Татэока Сэйдзи, Вада Хитоси, Тэсима Кунио, Кудо Кадзухиро, Игараси Ёситомо, Утимура Кеко, Яно Рэйна 

Секция хайку на русском языке: Александр Долин

Секция хайку английском языке: Дэйвид МакМаррэй, Канемацу Сатору, Бэн Графстром, Хирута Хиденори

Результаты конкурса

Победители от каждой секции будут оповещены о своей победе по электронной почте в начале октября 2017 г., их имена будут объявлены на сайте Международного веб-сообщества хайку Акита (Akita International Haiku, Senryu, Tanka Network (   Лучшие и отмеченные хайку также будут помещены с переводом на языки конкурса на данном сайте.



Хайку на японском

Приз губернатора преф. Акита (изделия народных промыслов)
Приз Фонда JAL (пособия по сезонным словам, талоны на приобретение книг, канцелярские принадлежности – данный приз предназначен для студентов и детей)
Приз президента Торгово-промышленной палаты г.Акита (изделия народных промыслов, канцелярские принадлежности)
Хайку на русском

Приз мэра г. Акита (изделия народных промыслов)
Приз Президента Международного университета Акита за лучшее хайку на английском языке
Приз Фонда JAL (пособия по сезонным словам, канцелярские принадлежности и т.п.)
Приз президента Торгово-промышленной палаты г.Акита (изделия народных промыслов)
  Хайку на английском

Приз Президента Международного университета Акита за лучшее хайку на английском языке (изделия народных промыслов)
 Приз Фонда JAL (пособия по сезонным словам, канцелярские принадлежности и т.п.)
Приз президента Торгово-промышленной палаты г.Акита (изделия народных промыслов)


Контактная информация:

Ответственный секретарь Akita International Haiku, Senryu, Tanka Network  Хидэнори Хирута (Обращаться через электронную почту или по факсу 018-824-2188 на имя Hidenori Hiruta, указав все необходимые данные (как в заявке).



第6回日露俳句コンテスト 募集要項






応募期間   平成29年5月1日(月)~6月30日(金)

応募資格   国籍、年齢は問いません。

テーマ    「花」(雑詠も可)

投句数       1句(未発表句)

使用言語   日本語、ロシア語、英語のいずれかを選択する。


  (1)ホームページ にて応募用紙をダウンロードして

                     記入の上、電子メールにて まで送付。

・日本語部門 (日本語部門)日本語部門  (pdf)

・ロシア語部門 (ロシア語部門 )  (ロシア語部門 )  (word)

・英語部門 (英語部門) (英語部門) (Word) 


     FAX : 018-824-2188

                 010-1606 秋田市新屋寿町4-38 
























表彰    10月7日(土)国際教養大学


審査委員  日本語部門 : 武藤鉦二 舘岡誠二 和田仁 島松柏 工藤一紘

              五十嵐義知  内村恭子 矢野玲奈

      ロシア語部門: アレクサンダー・ドーリン 

      英語部門  : デビッド・マクマレイ 兼松悟 

              ベン・グラフストロム 蛭田秀法


主催  秋田国際俳句・川柳・短歌ネットワーク

共催  秋田県国際俳句協会

協賛  (公財)JAL財団、秋田商工会議所 秋田市

後援  秋田県、国際教養大学、秋田県教育委員会、(公財)秋田県国際交流協会、








    秋田国際俳句・川柳・短歌ネットワーク事務局 蛭田秀法

    〒010-1606  秋田市新屋寿町4-38

    TEL & FAX: 018-824-2188








Haiku Workshop by Adjei Agyei-Baah in Ghana


Finally, below are the pictures and the best 30 haiku from the haiku workshop Adjei Agyei-Baah facilitated with students of the Creative Writing Class of the Department of English, University of Ghana, Legon on 17th April 2017.

The workshop was co-facilitated by Ms. Celestine Nudanu, Adjei’s fellow haikuist from home who came over to render her support.

Please enjoy and share thoughts!!

frog on a lilypad
the longing
for a wet satisfaction

lights out
we find new friends
moon and stars

night time
my dirty deeds
blanketed by darkness

–Kofi Addo

driving home
a gap in the window
sneaks in the rain

–Sophia Abraham-Raveson

vanished stars
the thought of patching up
the holes for the rains

–Conrad Yeboah

after the rain—
toads croak a symphony
in tenor and bass

lapping waves
the moon slips
under a leaf

first rain
busy ants patching
their hill
–Mimi Borders

April morning
passing clouds slip through
the chameleon’s skin

class full
the simmering heat
from an unannounced quiz

–Hassan Abdulai

wild winds
bowing and breaking branches—
my resilience fails

still dawn
after the muezzin’s call
the bellow of a bull

–Andy Martei

cold night
passing clouds drape
and undrape the moon

–Hakeem Adam

my I-phone
freezes my heart
as it drops down

enough of emoji
naught of emotion

–Sarfo Kantanka Julian

the cock crows
the c*ck grows
morning has come again

pouring rain
drifting me along into
your ocean of bliss

–Ekar Patrick Y. Y.

rough road—
not again
with my best shoe

my outlet
even the skies understand

scorching sun
but shirt still wet
isn’t it ironic?

wakeup call
a bird perching at the edge
of my dream

–Frances Nutchful

sunflower meadow
with a blue sky setting
what more can the poet ask for?

home from fruit shop
a drop apple rolls
to the feet of waiting lover

–Henry Bolster

jittery mother hen
moving back and forth
chick in gutter

settling on the last giggle
of the day

perching birds on tree
one takes off
and tows the rest

–Dyla MacQuaye

flowing river
dripping songs
into my soul

the caterpillar
ends its journey–
a butterfly

–Sandy Bashee


searching for a birdsong
in the tree
a splash of shit

–Adjei Agyei-Baah

patching up
the crack in my dream

—Celestine Nudanu



By Hidenori Hiruta


On May 23, 2014, Adjei Agyei-Baah, Kumasi, Ghana, submitted his haiku for the English section of the 3rd Japan-Russia Haiku Contest.


leafless tree―

lifting a cup of nest

to the sky


Adjei’s haiku was judged and selected for Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Award by Fay Aoyagi.

Fay Aoyagi: A naturalized US citizen living in San Francisco. She is President of HAIKU SOCIETY OF AMERICA (, Webmaster at Haiku Poets of Northern California ( and a dojin of two Japanese haiku groups: Ten’I (Providence) led by Dr. Akito Arima and Aki (Autumn) led by Mr. Masami Sanuka. 

Her two haiku collections, “Chrysanthemum Love” (2003) and “In Borrowed Shoes” (2006) were published from Blue Willow Press.

Her English blog ( includes a daily haiku translation and she has a Japanese blog (, as well.


On October 25, an award ceremony was held with the results announced at the Akita International University, part of the international haiku conference in celebration of the 29th National Cultural Festival in Akita 2014.

  Adjei Agyei-Baah delightedly spoke to attendees via Skype from Ghana when he received his award from the president of the Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He shared his great delight and honor with academics, such as Dr. Akito Arima, the president of the Haiku International Association, David McMurray, professor at The International University of Kagoshima, Alexander Dolin, professor at Akita International University, and haiku poets and students from Russia, UK, USA, Canada, Taiwan, and Japan.

 Saying,  “Congratulations!”,  we, attendees, wished if Adjei would invite his haiku friends to submit haiku for the contest the following year, with haiku spread further throughout Africa.



Adjei Agyei-Baah also presented his photo haiku to the Akita International Haiku Network.



On October 26, Adjei sent his e-mail to the Akita International Haiku Network as follows.

Dear Sir,

I am most grateful for the honor done me on the event. I hope all went well. I will still continue to read and delve deep into the haiku aesthetics and get back to you someday with good news to share.

I look forward to receiving the certificate and the cultural artifact.

Once again, thanks to members of the organizational team for making this grand event happen.




On November 18, Adjei sent his e-mail to the Akita International Haiku Network as follows.

Dear Mr. Hiruta san,

I have finally received the parcel and once again, i am grateful to you and all the organizers of the event.
This laurel has come to boost my moral in the haiku art and also to spread it in my country Ghana.
I am yet to frame the certificate for my wall.  Though I could not read the content, it’s still of a treasure to me.
I hope to come up one day with a haiku collection to share my African settings with the world:

getting my pen worth

of me

Thank you Akita


Part of Interview with Ghanaian Poet, Adjei Agyei -Baah.

On December 5, Geosi Gyasi, a young Ghanaian book lover and also a poet, interviewed with Adjei as the brain behind Geosi Reads, a web space where he features reviews of books, literary news and author interviews.






Photo: Adjei Agyei -Baah




Adjei Agyei-Baah is a founding partner of Poetry Foundation Ghana, a language examiner and a part-time lecturer for West African Examination Council and Institute of Continuing and Distance Education, University of Ghana, respectively. He is also the co-editor of Poetry Ink Journal, a yearly poetry anthology in Ghana. As part of his duties, he also serves as a supporting administrator for He is a widely anthologized both home and abroad and among his outstanding works includes the praise songs:“Ashanti” written and presented to the King of Ashanti, Otumfuo Osei Tutut II and “Ghost on Guard’ , for Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of the Republic of Ghana. At the international front, his poem, “For the Mountains”, was selected by the BBC to represent Ghana in a Poetry Postcard Project for the just ended Commonwealth Games 2014, held in Glasgow, Scotland.

He is a devotee of the Japanese poetry form haiku and has written and published in e-zines and international journals such as Frogpong, World Haiku Review, The Heron’s Nest, Shamrock and is one of the winners of 3rdJapan – Russia Haiku Contest 2014, organised by Akita International University, Japan, making him the recipient of the Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Award. Adjei is currently working on ‘’KROHINKO’’-an anthology of poems from Ghana Poetry Prize contest, 2013 and looks forward in coming out with his two poetry collections. Some of his poetry artefacts can be found in Manhyia Museum and Centre of National Culture, Kumasi. 


Geosi Gyasi: First, congratulations. You are the 2014 winner of Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Award for the 3rd Japan-Russia Haiku Contest. How excited are you to have won this award?

Adjei Agyei -Baah: It’s a great feeling and I have every reason to be happy for this promising news of our time. I thank God for these streak feats this particular year. This is global laurel and it puts my country (Ghana) and Africa as a whole on the world haiku map. Though some of my haikus had earlier on been given merit and honourable mentions in international haiku journals, this one comes in to crown the effort made so far. At least assuring me that my commitment to this Japanese art form has finally paid.

Geosi Gyasi: When did your love for haiku begin?

Adjei Agyei -Baah: It started about three years ago when I chanced upon the works of my fellow writers like Emmanuel-Abdalmasih Samson (Nigeria), Nana Fredua-Agyemang (Ghana), online and Prince K. Mensah (Ghana) who had come out with an experimental collection (Haiku For Awuku) on this poetry form. I must say I was moved by the brevity of this genre. To make it short, to say more in few words is something that really fascinated me to try it. But not ending there, I moved further on to learn from the originators of art: I mean the Japanese masters like Basho, Buscon, Shikki, Issa etc. who have been of great influence in my haiku career.

Geosi Gyasi: Tell us about the inspiration behind your winning haiku?

Adjei Agyei -Baah:

leafless tree—

lifting a cup of nest

to the sky

The above haiku is a scene captured in one of the harmattan season in Ghana as I was traveling in a bus from Kumasi to Accra. In the middle of our journey, our bus got stuck along the road, and upon getting down, saw this naked tree from afar with an outstretched branch with a nest as if requesting for help from above. Immediately an imagery came into mind of a desperate fellow (a waif perhaps) looking up to God to fill his cup with some kind of manna, just as He did provided the Israelites on the desert, on their way to the Promised Land.

Geosi Gyasi: How easy is it to write a haiku?

Adjei Agyei -Baah: It is not easy to write a haiku. First one has to learn the aesthetics of the art before he or she can write a ‘good’ haiku. It may look simple in appearance and yet difficult to write. Haiku has to capture the ‘aha’ moment (moment of delight) which come with keen observation. Besides, it packaged in lines of three or two or sometimes in one stretch of line in approximately 17 syllables with seasonal and cutting words. These are but few rules which one has to observe in writing an ‘acceptable’ haiku. This is all what I can say for now, as I am still humbly learning at the feet of the contemporary haiku enthusiasts like Hidenori Hiruta, Robert D. Wilson, John Tiong Chunghoo, Aubrie Cox, Anatoly Kudryavitsky and others.

Geosi Gyasi: Your poem was selected out of some 1,130 haikus from 46 nations. Now, could you imagine emerging as the ultimate winner?

Adjei Agyei -Baah: No! I had some doubts for sure, for we Africans are not noted for this art form. The Westerners have the upper hand since they started exploring this poetry genre decades of years ago. Aside this, haiku opens itself to a myriad of interpretations, and when your imagery is not familiar to the reader’s environment, its likely to be misunderstood or misrepresented. Ogiwara Seisensui puts it succinctly: “haiku is a circle, half of which is created by the poet and the other half completed by the reader”. So it takes the composer and the reader to dig out a winning haiku. Approximately, the judging team was able to see what I saw, felt what I felt upon this encounter and selected my haiku as one of the best. In fact no one can ever admit that his/her haiku will surely win upon submission, for the eyes that look are many but the ones that see are few.

Like Loading…


In January, 2015, Adjei sent a few e-mails to me, telling of his intention to publish a haiku collection and his wish that I would write a foreword to accompany his book.  

Dear Sir,

Thank you very much for accepting to write the foreword to my haiku collection. This is really great news and a dream comes true.
 I will forward the manuscript made up of my 60 best haikus to enable you to start right away.
Besides, your suggested time frame (February 2015) for completion will be okay for me. Please kindly look forward to the book by the close to tomorrow.

I am once again grateful for your time and assistance.
Adjei Agyei-Baah

Foreword by Hidenori Hiruta




Adjei Agyei-Baah is the winner of the Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Award in the English section of the 3rd Japan-Russia Haiku Contest. The award-giving ceremony was held as part of the international haiku conference at the Akita International University in Japan, October 25, 2014.  Adjei delightedly spoke with attendees via Skype to share a word or two with the audience and other participants when he received his award from the president of the Akita Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Akito Arima, the president of the Haiku International Association in Tokyo, Japan, was very delighted to hear that Adjei would spread haiku further because of its brevity and its coexistence with nature, and that he would continue to read and to delve deep into haiku aesthetics and get back to us someday with good news to share.

A few months after the president heard these good intentions, to my great delight, I excitedly received the news from Adjei that he was going to publish a haiku collection, strongly believing haiku is a beautiful genre which can be used to tell their African story and wonderful settings. He intuitively and creatively describes his natural surroundings in haiku, the shortest form of poetry. For example, he takes up in his haiku “harmattan, egret, kapok, mango, Afadjato, cocoa, eagle, and cocoyam ” as the objects in nature that are particularly interesting and influential to him in his surroundings.

He wrote this haiku about harmattan (A dry dusty wind that blows along the northwest coast of Africa) in his haiku collection “Afriku ” :


harmattan peak

not only does trees’ bark crack

the heels too!


He also describes what he sees in his daily life in his own way of writing haiku or senryu from his own viewpoint:


pavement beggar—

on his lips

the footprints of harmattan


Here is an excerpt from ASAHI HAIKUIST SPECIAL by David McMurray, professor at The International University of Kagoshima in Japan, November 17, 2014.

Akito Arima, an avid haikuist and former education minister, addressed academics at the Akita International University in an effort to convince them that haiku should be added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. He reassured students in the audience that haiku can be composed by everyone, from the man in the street to the likes of Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer, the Nobel laureate of literature in 2011 who penned at age 23: disappearing deep in his inner greenness/ artful and hopeful. Later in his career he penned in Swedish:

My happiness swelled

and the frogs sang in the bogs

of Pomerania

By stressing that haiku can deepen mutual understanding and enjoyment of different cultures between those people who read or compose the poem, Arima garnered support for his idea that “haiku can help make the world peaceful.”

Adjei Agyei-Baah has great interest of pioneering this art, haiku, in his country and further takes it up as his Phd thesis (Haiku in Africa). Haiku tells their African stories and wonderful settings in nature, and also connects people in the most wonderful way we can think of.  Adei’s haiku is in truth beneficial for us, mankind:

morning dew―

perhaps heaven weeps

for mankind

-Hidnenori Hiruta  

                                                      February 2015




On October 12, Adjei sent his e-mail to me as follows.

Dear Hidernori Hiruta san.

It’s been a while Sir but the good news is that Jim Kacian’s Red Moon Press is done with the publication of my maiden haiku collection “Afriku” and I would like to send you a signed personal copy. 

So please kindly provide me with you postal address that I can forward to you anytime I have the opportunity to do so.

Once again, i am grateful to you and Dr. Akito Arima for your support and inspiration. I really appreciate every role that you have played in my haiku career.


Adjei Agyei-Baah


Here is part of AFRIKU.

















Adjei’s comment on the AFRIKU cover page concept.


Here it is. To the curious mind who wants to unravel the AFRIKU cover page code (concept). It’s simply made up of an inverted greening baobab tree with egrets flying on top. The upturned root of the tree symbolizes Europe/Asia from where haiku is spreading down to Africa. The beautiful orange background also brings to mind the serene sunset setting on the savannah plains where wild animals graze and roam freely.


Book Review


“Here is a review of AFRIKU by a fellow haijin from home, Nana Fredua-Agyeman. Please enjoy his analysis and share comments with us”, says Adjei in his facebook page on February 16, 2017.

Art is dynamic. Art is adaptive. And regardless of where it originates, and with what rules, it is bound to transform and adapt to different cultures. The debate has always been to stick within the rules, be novel with the rules, or to break the rules entirely. But it is these debates, and how they are treated by active-passive artists and the critics alike, that makes art simply ART. It is what has kept it valuable and relevant in an age where the computer is determined to take over our lives and transform everything into a virtual non-reality.

Haiku is just one poetry form. It is perhaps the shortest poetry form, albeit with the longest set of rules. One Haijin (a Haiku poet), Jane Reichhold wrote in her book that one must learn all the rules, practice them, and break them. This is such a difficult thing to do, breaking them. Nevertheless, it is what one must do to remain relevant or to adapt the art form to a given culture. And Haiku is one poetry form that requires a lot of adaptation. 

And this is exactly what Adjei Agyei-Baah did in his book Afriku – Haiku & Senryu from Ghana (2016). As its name suggests, it is a collection of haiku and senryu poems, but with a ‘difference’. Adjei has translated each poem into his native Twi language. The Twi language has short syllables and so these translations did not take much away from the original. The question here is: Are the Twi versions the originals or the translations? This is a question Adjei will answer some day.

The collection opens with an adaptation of one of the most popular Haikus of all time, Basho’s Frog by Matsuo Basho. There has been numerous adaptations of this Haiku, yet Adjei found a way to bring it home. He writes

old pond – 

the living splash

of Basho’s frog

And even for this, he managed to write a Twi version. At this stage, I am assuming the Twi versions to be translations.

sutae dadaa – 

nkaedum a Basho

apotrɔ gyaeε

However, the importance of the collection does not lie in just one simple adaptation of a great work. There are several others that do exactly what Haiku should do: to live someone’s captured moment. For instance who does not feel the hot breath, the tiredness, the sweat droplets, and the pain of this farmer?

drought – 

the farmer digs

into his breath

Or the sole egret playing catch-up with the swarm in


season of migration

the lightning dash

of a late egret

Haikus are meant to show and not tell. They are like art pieces. The reader-viewer must make his own explanations, must live the artist’s moment in his own personal way, must bring to the art his own interpretation. However, Haiku – the classical Haiku  – do more. For instance, they must indicate the date or period within which the event occurred using seasonal markers (Kigo). In the ‘drought’ piece above, one can easily feel the harmattan and can geopin it to the northern part of Ghana where the harmattan is severe and the drudgery of farmers become palpable in their breaths. In fact, if one has a broader and deeper knowledge of the landscape of the country, one can easily say that this farmer is in the Bongo District of the Upper East where the land is rocky and the soil is laterite and extremely difficult to cultivate. 

However, for Haiku writers in the tropics, the use of kigo has become the dry season of our arts. It makes writing difficult since the changes in the season is not dramatic. Adjei faced some of these problems and manoeuvered around it. For instance, 

gust of wind…

the crow takes off

in a zigzag line

shows that we are in the rainy season but not in July, when it only drizzles. This could be the period just after the dry season, early March to April, where the rainfall is preceded by heavy winds and squalls. 

But Adjei did not tie himself with the entire range of Haiku rules. There are times that he preferred the moment to the classic rules.

traffic holdup

the absurdity of politics

served fresh on the airwaves

or this

school memories – 

all the farts concealed

by shifting chairs

could be argued to be non-Haiku. In fact, I am tempted to believe that these ones are the Senryu the title is referencing. But can one not relate to the issue in the piece? Adjei attempted to make his Haiku tell a story, the story of Africa. He managed to introduce old narratives into new formats. Take this piece

stone meal…

mother fakes supper

to put the kids to sleep

Anyone who knows the story told behind this will easily relate to this piece. Recently, I was explaining how we used to light up cooking fire to a late nineties colleague and it was as if I was an ancient being, but Adjei captures and packages it in a way that makes my story verbose

childhood memories

the wood shavings that light up

mother’s charcoal

There are some really beautiful gems in this collection including the one-liner 

a dragonfly pausing the wind


smiling pond…

a dragonfly dips

its tail

I like the fact that Adjei broke the rules, sometimes. There are many who consider Haiku to be just 5-7-5 syllable poem or Short-Long-Short. If Haiku were just these then it is not an art form. It is this and more. Just as you cannot write a 15-line poem and call it a sonnet but can write a sonnet of straight 14 lines or of a sestet and octet, so too can you play within the rules, break them entirely, and still keep the Haiku identity. In several of the pieces, Adjei did this. In the ones he did not, where he sought to carry a story through, or lighten up things, the Senryu in the title is there for cover.

Adjei’s collection is important for several reasons. One, it brings home an art form that is very difficult to tame. It encourages several individuals to consider alternative forms of poetry. The bold attempt at translating into Twi is important for reasons beyond just Haiku. Like many other things, the African is comfortable writing in English or French than his native language. Yet, he thinks first in his native language even when speaking these languages. Writing in the native language then has the capability to free the writer. And the more writers we have doing this, the better it will be for our writing.

For those interested in writing and reading Haiku, please do include this in your material.


Newspapers Report


On January 8, 2017, Ayaka Kitashima, a reporter at The Akita Sakigake Shimpo in Akita, Japan, asked questions about The Japan-Russia Haiku Contests and “Afriku”, reporting her article in Akita Sakigake newspaper on June 10.

You can see the article in a copy below.



Kitashima referred to “Afriku” and Adjei’s haiku below.



Adjei’s comment on this haiku


Dear Hiruta san,

Matsuo Basho is the one you speak of and one of the originators of the haiku art along other masters like Issa, Shiki, Buson just to name few.

My haiku was inspired by Basho most popular haiku “old pond” and decided to dedicate my version to him for being one of the fathers who worked hard and grounded the art for we young bards of today to continue from where he and the others left. 


Find his original translated version here:

The old pond;

A frog jumps in —
The sound of the water

In short, Basho has been a great inspiration and I find it most appropriate for him to get a dedication in my book. So the haiku in my book is dedicated to him as he is “perceived” to be the father of the art (I stand to be corrected). Maybe it was my way of putting smile on his lips while rest peacefully in his grave.





Exciting News


Adjei’s facebook page says as follows on January 31.



Last week, KGCL, a school in Accra after getting a copy of my book, AFRIKU invited me to their Visiting Writers Series to come and teach haiku to their students and as well share some of the inspiration behind poems. Huh, today happens to be the event day as I leave for Accra this morning to honor this lovely opportunity, and hope to share some of the works that students will pen right here with you on my return. And would also take this opportunity to thank Mr. Geosi Gyasi for this wonderful connection with his students.


Lastly, we sincerely hope that Adjei Agyei-Baah will have more opportunities to teach haiku to students at school.

And we also hope that children, students, and teachers will get interested in haiku because of its brevity and its coexistence with nature.

Hidnori Hiruta


Mr. Vitaliy Svirin submitted his haiku to the Russian section of the 5th Japan-Russia Haiku Contest.

Mr. Svirin also sent his poetic works of tanka, haiku and photo haiku.

He is a karate instructor, loving to play chess as a hobby.

He enjoys writing tanka and haiku, studying Japanese, and publishes his tanka and haiku in journals.






Here is his tanka, with the help of his friend, Alexey Gorbachev (USA), in translating into English.




Мечта о мечте…

Пустые объятия.

С милой на яхте…

Ее белому платью

Хочется птицей взлететь…    





A dream of a dream… 

An empty embrace… 

With sweetheart on the yacht…   

And her white dress 

Is longing to fly away…           




Here is his brief bio.


Имя: Виталий

Фамилия: Свирин


Я родился в 18.08. 1970

Окончил Гуманитарный Университет по специальности учитель  начальной школы и учитель экологии.

Я работаю инструктором по карате с 1995 года в спортивных клубах и спортивных школах. С 2008 года я работаю в качестве тренера с детьми от 1 года до 7 лет (карате, фитнес, шахматы).

Я начал изучать японский язык самостоятельно. Я хотел научиться читать японскую поэзию в оригинале.

Затем учился у Нишимура Takahito 西村貴仁  японскому языку.

В 2010 году я прошел тест JLPT  на  5уровень ( 5 Кю).

В 2007 году я сдал экзамен на 2 дан WSKF.

Я начал писать танка и хайку когда стал изучать японский язык.А  серьезно сел писать в декабре 2015 года.

Есть несколько моих публикаций в российских журналах и сборнике стихов “Золотой томик стихов №2” .

В русских хайку и танка  я соблюдаю классическую форму – 5-7-5-7-7 слогов.

Я начал писать стихи, потому что я почувствовал внутреннюю необходимость в этом после того, как прочитал сборник  стихов японских поэтов.


Name: Vitaliy

Surname: Svirin


I was born on August 18, 1970.

I graduated from the Humanitarian University specializing in the teacher of elementary school and teacher of ecology.

I have been working as a karate instructor since 1995 in sports clubs and sports school. Since 2008 I have been working as a coach for children from 1yo to 7 yo (karate, fitness, chess).

I started to study Japanese by myself. I wanted to learn to read Japanese poetry in the original.

I studied the Japanese language through my teacher, Nishimura Takahito 西村貴仁.

In 2010 I passed the test JLPT for 5N – 5 Kyu.

In 2007 I passed the exam for 2 Dan WSKF.

I started writing tanka and haiku when I started to learn Japanese. But seriously I started writing in December 2015.

There are a few of my publications in Russian journals and the anthology of poems “Golden book of poetry No. 2” .

I keep the classical form 5-7-5-7-7 syllables in Russian haiku and Tanka.

I started writing poetry because I felt the inner need for this after reading the books of Japanese poets.

As for my Russian publication, I publish haiku and tanka in Russian with titles “ My know-how”.


Here are his works of poetry.



IN THE OPEN WINDOWS (miscellanea tanka, haiku, may be senryu)




Мысли.. как птицы,

Но силком не поймаешь.                      

Умные слишком…




Thoughts as birds fly, but               

Do not catch the snare them.    

They are too clever …        






Птицы как мысли.

Вот, одна приземлилась,

Время обеда…




Birds’ flight as thoughts…

One landed now.

Dinner time…






Мысли… как кошки

Тепло и внимание

Любят… мяукнуть

На кухне в компании…

Если нет, смотрят в окно.





Thoughts … as cats                                        

The warmth and attention

Like… to mew            

In the kitchen in company …

If no these, look through a window.






Не трудно принять                          

Нажитого утрату…                          

Пусть остается!





Accepting loss

Of all things earned…

This is here to keep.






Проснулся… один

День прошел, отмеряю

Жизни остаток.






The day passed, I measure

Remaining life.                    






Проснулся… один

День прошел, отмеряю

Жизни остаток.

Как все-таки шаток мир,

Мы друг без друга – ничто!






The day passed, I measure        

Remaining life.      

How world is shaky,                        

Without each other – nothing!                






В открытом окне

Пустоты много… мысли

В нескольких окнах.





In an open window

There is a lot of emptiness… thoughts

In several windows.






Творческий голод…

Пища для размышлений.

Переварить бы.




Hunger to create…

Food for pondering.

How to digest?






Творческий голод…

Пища для размышлений.

Переварить бы.

Плоды вдохновения…          

Замысел должен созреть.





Hunger to create

Food for pondering

How to digest?

Inspiration fruits …          

Have to ripen.






Ква-ква– лягушки…

Омываются светом

В озере лунном…

Не станет поэтом тот,    

Кто не умылся росой.    





Ribbit-ribbit… frogs           

Are washing by silver light    

In the lunar lake …          

Will have never become a poet  

Who hasn’t washed with dew.  






И в капле туши

Вижу море. Волненье…    

Отпуск на носу.




In a drop of ink                                 

I see the Black Sea. Excitement …    

Vacation soon.                                







Тоска до краев…

Пустыня в сознании.

Сохнут чернила.




Filled with sadness and longing

My consciousness is a desert.

The ink dries.                                






Тоска до краев…

Пустыня в сознании.

Сохнут чернила.

Стихи сочинил, а вот                                      

А вот тушь развести… слез и нет.





Filled with sadness and longing…

My consciousness is a desert.

I wrote a poem.

The ink is dry.

No tears to wet it.






Творчества поле,                            

Просторы бескрайние…

Пашут и пашут…





Creativity field,                               

Boundless open spaces …    

They plow and plow …  






Стихи… я ловлю  

Вдохновения ветер.

Парус бумажный…





Verses … I catch  

Inspiration wind.

The paper sail …






Стихи… я ловлю  

Вдохновения ветер.

Парус бумажный…

Погода не важная,

Штиль на душе. Мысли в док.





Verses … I catch  

Inspiration wind.

The paper sail …

The weather is bad,

Calm at heart. Thoughts in dock.              






Смолкло пение птиц.

Потеряло небо цвет.

Ветер шепчет…нет,

Нет… смахнув росу с ресниц,

Вспоминаю…   жду рассвет.





Birds have gone silent.

Sky lost its colour.

The wind is whispering…no,

No… shedding dew from eyelashes

I remember… I wait for dawn.






Плачет гитара…                                  

По струнам бью, значит к ней    

Не равнодушен.


«Бьет – значит любит» поговорка   («Beats means loves» rus. saying)




The guitar is crying…      

I beat on strings, means                       

I’m not indifferent to it.    






Как рыба в воде…

Глубоко погружаюсь…

Плаваю в теме…

Плыву по течению…

Море житейских проблем.




Like a fish in water…

Deeply I plunge …

I swim in a subject …

I float down stream …

The sea of life’s problems.






Тень от тарелки

Увидеть в саду можно…

ТВ на кухне.





Shadow from the dish                                            

Can be see in the garden              

TV in the kitchen.                          






Тень от тарелки

Увидеть в саду можно…

ТВ на кухне.

Пишу осторожно я…

Хочется спутник поймать.






Shadow from the dish                                            

Can be see in the garden              

TV in the kitchen.                        

I’m writing cautiously …                              

Whanted to catch the satellite.            






Белый дар небес…  

Греет надеждой в мороз

Зеленый росток.





White gift of heavens…  

Warms hope in a frost

Green sprout.






Сыплет дар небес…

Греет надеждой в мороз

Зеленый росток.

Миллионы таких же

Дремлют под белым пледом.




A gift of heaven pours    

Heats hope in a frost

Green sprout.

Millions of the same

Doze under a white plaid.






Дед мороз пришел!

На дворе моем стоит…

Прямо на траве.



NEW YEAR IN ST. PETERSBURG (Russian Santa Claus)              


Father Frost has come!          

Standing on my yard

Right on the grass.






Ходим вокруг мы

Взявшись за руки крепко,

Дерево дружбы…





We are walking around  

Holding hands tightly,  

The tree of friendship…  





Только подумать,

Жизнь так скоротечна что…

Не успеваю

От мысли избавиться –

Это еще не конец.



« Всё всегда заканчивается хорошо. Если всё закончилось плохо, значит это ещё не конец.»

(Пауло Коэльо)

«Everything always ends well. If it ended badly, then this is not the end.» (Paulo Coelho)


Just think,                                

Life is so fleeting that…                      

I don’t have time

To get rid of the thought –    

That it is not the end.






Сосны и волны,

Следы на песке ведут

В прошлое… лето.



(松濤   pen name Funakoshi Gichin

船越義珍, ふなこし ぎちん)



Pine trees,


Steps in sand lead

To the past…






Lastly, here is a photo of the North of St. Petersburg where Mr. Vitaliy Svirin worked at a private school 2008-2012.

Then he went on vacation last summer, and made a photo .




Here is another photo haiku.




By Hidenori Hiruta