First of all, I tell you about the Earthday Haiku Contest.
2010 Bath Japanese Festival UK in association With Words (UK); Sketchbook Haiku Journal (USA); and Planetpals (Worldwide) are in partnership with the planet to bring the Earthday Haiku Contest.
They are also pleased to have the support of Akita International University; and International Haiku Spring Festival 2010 with Japanese festival director Hidenori Hiruta (Akita, Northern Honshu, Japan).
The contest is designed to combine the love of earth with the sheer simple fun of writing Japanese haiku in English!
We call it the “Kids Count for Earthday” Earthday Haiku Contest 2010. Kids will need to count 5-7-5 to create their Earthday haiku and help all of us to learn how to keep the planet clean and healthy!
The contest theme is “What Earthday means to you”.
The contest is open to individual students 7-20 years old.
Starting Date : April 22nd, 2010.
Ending Date: May 22nd, 2010
Contest rules are shown on the Internet at http://kidsearthdayhaiku.blogspot.com/.
You can also learn more about haiku and Earthday at this site.
Secondly, I refer to President Mineo Nakajima （中嶋嶺雄）at Akita International University（国際教養大学） in order to express a lot of thanks for the support of the Earthday Haiku Contest.
AIU President Mineo Nakajima is eminent as Ph.D., Sociology, The University of Tokyo, M.A., International Relations, The University of Tokyo, and B.A., China Studies, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
You will see what Dr. Nakajima has been doing as AIU President on the Internet at http://www.aiu.ac.jp.
Dr. Nakajima has also a clear understanding of haiku and feels a great love for haiku.
This is partly because his late father, Seiyo Nakajima （中嶋晴陽）, was one of the haiku poets in Japan.
In 1990, Dr. Nakajima compiled a book of haiku by his father, titled Seiyo Kushu (晴陽句集).
Let me show you its front cover page and the last haiku by Seiyo Nakajima.
Dr. Nakajima has written articles or essays on haiku for haiku journals or the newspapers, and has appeared in NHK TV program on haiku these days.
He also contributed the article of congratulations on the first issue of the yearly pamphlet by Akita International Haiku Network.
This is its front cover page, in which his article is shown:
In this article Dr. Nakajima presented haiku he wrote during his stay in Nara, when he went on a school trip in his junior high school days.
Sarusawa no hi no suzushisa o yado ni ite
Donald Keene, the ex- member of the President’s Advisory Board at AIU, kindly contributed his Japanese translation for Matsuo Basho’s haiku from ‘The Narrow Road to Oku ‘ by Matsuo Basho （ 「おくのほそ道」松尾芭蕉）.
Kisakata ya ameni Seishi ga nebu no hana
Seishi sleeping in the rain,
Wet mimosa blossoms.
Last of all, we sincerely hope that haiku will spread out to the world more because of its brevity and its coexistence with nature.
We also hope that more children and more young people will get interested in and love haiku through this Earthday Haiku Festival.
The next posting ‘Haiku by Students at AIU (Part 4)’ appears on May 1.
― Hidenori Hiruta
Akita International Haiku / Senryu / Tanka Network, whose website is Akita International Haiku Network, was established in Akita, Northern Honshu, Japan, in May, 2009.
We established this Network, with the motto, “We all try our best / in our busy, busy lives / to write poetry.” We opened the website in the hope that children as well as adults will write and enjoy haiku, senryu and tanka, and that they will share it on our network.
Our webmaster, Thorfinn Tait, opened the Akita International Haiku Network in May, 2009.
He is a teacher of English at Meioh High School in Akita.
He graduated from Edinburgh University in UK, where he majored in linguistics and learned Japanese.
He says in our yearly pamphlet as follows:
In May, I set up a website for the Network at Mr Hiruta’s request, using a free WordPress blog at wordpress.com. Recently blog software has become popular for producing all kinds of pages, and it seems particularly well-suited to our network.
As a result, the Network’s website has now been up and running for a year. Mr Hiruta has been posting haiku and articles contributed from poets inside and outside of Japan there on a weekly basis. If you haven’t already done so, please check out the web site at the address above.
I think we have an excellent opportunity to make the Akita International Haiku Network truly international and promote traditional Japanese forms of poetry around the world through our website. I hope you will all lend a hand to make the website a success.
In celebration of the 1st anniversary of the opening of our network, we hold International Haiku Spring Festival 2010 (Akita, Northern Honshu, Japan).
This festival is presented in Partnership with 2010 Bath Japanese Festival.
Please check out the Bath Japanese festival at http://sites.google.com/site/bathjapanesefestival/welcome/.
Let’s share haiku! Let’s share haibun!
Let’s share senryu! Let’s share tanka!
・What is it?
It is an online festival designed to give our readers an opportunity to share the Japanese short forms of poetry with each other, and enjoy writing and reading haiku, senryu, or tanka.
・When is it?
We are happy to announce that the Festival with run from May 12th – 23rd 2010.
・Where is it?
On the website of Akita International Haiku Network
・How do I get involved?
Please give us a comment on this site, saying that I would like to send my haiku, senryu, tanka, or haibun.
You will receive an e-mail from Hidenori Hiruta with his e-mail address.
We sincerely hope that you will enjoy our online festival on the Internet.
Last of all, let me show you part of how we have shared our poetic activities with our readers.
On July, 2009, a British haiku poet, John McDonald, gave us a comment on Basho’s peach blossoms posted on June 14, 2009.
Since then Mr. McDonald has given us a comment and encouraged us to continue posting haiku and articles on the website.
He also contributed his haiku book, whose title is THE THROU-GAUN CHIEL scots haiku, to me.
I posted part of his haiku in Scots as well as in English with my Japanese translation.
Scots haiku by Mr. McDonald ( Part 1) was posted on September 5, 2009 and Part 2 of his Scots haiku was posted on October 17, 2009.
In January, 2010, Mr. McDonald published his haiku booklet, whose front cover is shown as follows:
I also show part of his booklet.
Mr. McDonald sent the following e-mail to me.
Dear Hiruta San,
thank you most kindly for the translations, since there are others coming on sat. I’ll wait until then to collate the whole thing. This is just a small desktop effort by myself a copy for ourselves and then I’d like to send a copy to the scottish poetry library – this is a library we in scotland built a number of years ago a lovely modern building to house purely poetry from, as well as scottish writers, poets from all over the world so I felt this would be an archives where the two of us could sit forever (or as long as the building exists).hope my plan works out. Once I get saturdays translations I’ll set it up and hopefully get a copy off to you next week. thanks again
This is how we have enjoyed sharing the poetic works with each other.
We sincerely hope that you will share poetic works with us through International Haiku Spring Festival 2010.
The next posting ‘CHILDREN’S AND YOUNG PERSONS’ HAIKU CONTEST : Kids Count for Earthday 5-7-5 Haiku Contest 2010’ appears on April 24.
― Hidenori Hiruta
I have just received an e-mail about an Asahi Newspaper sponsored haiku in English contest from Professor David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima.
Would you please send your haiku before April 18?
His e-mail is as follows:
Dear Hiruta sensei,
Thank you so much for referring to the Asahi Culture Centre, I will read and review it. This Friday will feature many haiku about the first day of school. But here is something really special for you up in Akita at this time of year, the chance to go to Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama! Not quite Kagoshima, but warm…
Here is one more item for readers of your homepage. Please let me update you on the launch of an Asahi Newspaper sponsored haiku in English contest with the theme Europe and Japan affording a trip to Japan as first prize. For details please link to:
If you and the readers of your homepage might have some time to write one haiku on this theme before April 18, you could win a trip to Dogo Onsen in Matusuyama Japan, please link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan homepage for the application form in English and in Japanese.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan and the European Union are calling for haikuists to enter the Japan-EU haiku contest for a chance to win a trip to Matsuyama, the home of modern haiku.
Best of luck,
Last of all, we sincerely hope that you will send your haiku before April 18.
― Hidenori Hiruta
Now in Japan we are in a cheerful mood, sharing the beauties and wonders of spring with each other.
With the coming of spring, Amur adonis appeared in the fields and camellias opened their flowers, from white to pink and red ones.
Plum and cherry blossoms are in full bloom here and there in Tokyo these days.
Both of them have been loved and taken up in haiku or tanka since the ancient days in Japan.
At the end of March, I wrote the following haiku:
Fresh cherry blossoms
reflected in the pond
Hatsuzakura sugata o utsusu kagami ike
First of all, let me tell you about my writing career of international haiku.
In May, 1998, I studied about international haiku and started writing haiku in English.
Professor David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima（鹿児島国際大学） came to Akita and gave us a workshop on international haiku at the meeting of JALT (The Japan Association for Language Teaching)（全国語学教育学会）. He told us about international haiku and showed us how to write haiku in English.
Since then I have been studying about haiku in English through Asahi Culture Center（朝日カルチャーセンター）, where we can enjoy International Haiku Correspondence with Professor David McMurray.
As our mentor he gives us instructions and suggestions on how to burnish and improve haiku in English.
As a haiku poet he received NAGOYA TV AWARD at International Haiku Poetry Festival held as part of THE 2005 AICHI WORLD EXPO （愛知万博）in July, 2005.
the feeding tube
Professor David McMurray is also the haiku selector and editor of the Asahi Haikuist Network column found in Friday edition of the International Herald Tribune Asahi Shimbun （ヘラルド朝日）and on the Internet at
In March, 2004, I wrote the following haiku, which appeared in the above -mentioned page of Asahi Haikuist Network by David McMurray:
music in the eaves
rice cake dries
Uguisuno utagoe nokini mochi kawaku
My haiku appeared in the Asahi Haikuist Network and also appeared together with Basho’s haiku in the blog by Angelika Wienert, a German poet, in 2005.
Uguisu ya mochi ni fun suru en no saki
Bush warbler ―
shits on the rice cakes
on the porch rail
Translated by Robert Hass
In July, 2004, I visited Kisakata（象潟）, Akita, and wrote the following haiku in celebration of the 360th anniversary of Matsuo Basho’s birth:
circling stone tablet
Shou fuu no kuhi ni tachi taru manatsu kana
In October, 2004, I wrote the following haiku while reading “The Narrow Road to Oku” (Oku no Hosomichi) by Matsuo Basho(1664-1694) as translated by Donald Keene.
I composed it to keep cozy, when the nights were getting longer and chillier.
leaves flutter upon
the narrow road
Akikaze ya Okuno Hosomichi konoha mau
In November, 2006, I wrote haiku about first snow:
dressed in white snow
Hatsu yuki ya Basho no koromo kiyomare ri
My haiku appeared in the Asahi Haikuist Network, where Professor David McMurray noted as follows:
The first snowfall in Akita was light, just enough to dust Matsuo Basho’s monument, writes Hidenori Hiruta. Or as the poet observed in 1686, enough snow fell to bend narcissus leaves: Hatsu yuki ya suisen no ha no tawamu made. Hiruta alludes to Basho’s travel journal, “Oku no Hosomichi” (The Narrow Road to the Deep North).
Hatsu yuki ya suisen no ha no tawamu made
The first snow ―
just enough to bend
Translated by David McMurray
These two haiku above are quoted in the category, Literature of the Literature.net.
In January, 2009, I wrote haiku about New Year. This was selected and printed in the haiku magazine, HI , which is published by HIA (Haiku International Association)（国際俳句交流協会）.
Sending out steam
New Year’s Festival
Yuge tate te bonden osamu kan matsuri
On January 23, 2010, the word ‘Bonden（梵天）’ was taken up as Kigo for the New Year in SPECIAL GALLERIES…..DARUMA MUSEUM (03) by Dr. Gabi Greve, a German poet, in Okayama, Japan.
In February, 2010, I wrote the following haiku:
Hige nagomu barentain no meeru kana
On March 5, 2010, this haiku appeared in the Asahi Haikuist Network.
That night I received the following e-mail for my haiku:
Dear Hidenori Hiruta:
I have enjoyed reading your haiku in today’s edition of the Asahi Haikuist Network
in the International Herald Tribune. Congratulations!
Have a wonderful weekend–
With best regards,
Lenard D. Moore
Former President (2008 and 2009), Haiku Society of America（アメリカ俳句協会前会長）
Executive Chairman, North Carolina Haiku Society.
I knew Mr. Moore at the HIA 20th Anniversary Symposium held in Tokyo on November 28, 2009, which he attended as one of the panelists.
On March 8, 2010, Mr. Moore contributed his haiku to me and referred to his essay on writing haiku in his e-mail.
Dear Hidenori Hiruta,
Thank you very much for your kind words about my haiku. I am very pleased to learn
that you attended last year’s HIA 20th Anniversary Symposium and posted haiku.
I am delighted to hear that you have heard my talk on the haiku panel. However,
here is the website address for my essay on writing haiku with several of my haiku:
I am honored that you have read my following haiku:
from the heliport
–Lenard D. Moore
I am also honored to learn that you have appreciated my following haiku in the Asahi Haikuist Network:
all over my face
this thick beard
–Lenard D. Moore
I open the jar
–Lenard D. Moore
just the closed houses
up the street
–Lenard D. Moore
Congratulations on all of the work you are doing for haiku on the Akita International Haiku Network!
I am grateful to you for inviting me to submit haiku to you for the Akita International Haiku Network.
Once again, thank you very much. Have a wonderful week–
With best regards,
Lenard D. Moore
Last of all, let me tell you about what HIA President Akito Arima （国際俳句交流協会会長有馬朗人）concluded in the symposium on November 28, 2009.
Dr. Arima predicted as follows.
Haiku will spread out to the world more because of its brevity and its coexistence with nature.
More and more young people will get interested in haiku for its brevity, and enjoy writing and reading haiku.
More poets will share haiku with each other in their blogs on the Internet.
Global haiku contest or festival will increase on the Internet too.
The next posting ‘ International Haiku Spring Festival 2010 (Akita, Northern Honshu, Japan)’ appears on April 18.
― Hidenori Hiruta
On January 25, 2010, I received the first mail from Mr. Holmes through Facebook:
Did we perhaps meet at the World Haiku International Conference, 2002, held in Yuma Town, near Akita? I attended as part of the World Haiku Club.
I enjoyed the area very much. It was August; but, the fall colors were not yet full. There were many red dragonflies, (akatonbo), as I recall.
Dennis M. Holmes (my haigou, “chibi”)
Our friendship renewed then.
He really loves Japan and Haiku.
This is a photo which shows that he enjoyed the cherry blossoms in Japan.
During his stay in Akita, he wrote the following haiku:
Golden Rice ―
Open the lunch Box
Ekiben o toite Akita no inaho nami by Chibi
Light up the AKITA
Onna no me kira to Akita no ryouya kana by Chibi
Red dragon fly stay
On the fox shrine
Aka tonbo koi koi kitsune no kami no ue by Chibi
The slope of hills
Fields of flowers
Dokomademo nogiku no michi o aruki keri by Chibi
I will roll on
Sanryou ni soitaru saka no kusa no hana by Chibi
The front door opens
A glimpse of
Seki no to yori chiisaki aki wa kinu by Chibi
This is a photo taken with Matsuo Basho （松尾芭蕉）.
As the homepage ‘HAIKU俳句’ by Yanagibori Etsuko （柳堀悦子） says , Mr. Holmes won first prize, Ninth Mainichi Haiku Grand Prix, English Haiku of International Section 2004.
He is a member of ‘Haiku 俳句’.
On July, 2004, Mr. Holmes contributed the following haiku to ‘HAIKU 俳句’.
Juu shichinen ichijitsu no semi nakinikeri
the swing chain clank
on the screened front porch ―
Fura kokoni oreba hachidori chuu ni uku
the rainy season ―
lettuce wilts at
the open-aer bistro
Samidare ya sarada o kafe terasu ni te
this summer day ―
I thought it was
Kyonen no kyou o omoeru natsubi kana
the rainy season
starts again ―
Tsuki usete tsuyu no yoake wa yami aru nomi
The members of ‘HAIKU俳句’ congratulated on his winning first prize in Tokyo.
Recently Mr. Holmes sent his self-introduction to me as follows:
Dear Hidenori san,
Thank you for your kind reply. As to my introduction, I am but a student of haiku, always. We live in Georgia, USA. Currently, we have temporary assignment on the Atlantic coast of Georgia, Saint Simons Island, USA. I write poems daily inspired by the ocean and the southeastern, USA. Renku is part of my current interests, and I am happy to say that Professor Shokan Tadashi Kondo, Seikei University, is a friend and my renku teacher. A Japanese friend and I compose juunichiou renku over the internet on the weekends. Some of the juunichiou have been aired on NHK Radio Japan’s program, World Interactive. I hope to be able to return to Japan to meet Dr. Gabi Greve, Okayama; Professor Kondo at Seikei University; Tokyo friends, and of course my Akita friends, again.
Mr. Holmes reads and writes Japanese, Hiragana（ひらがな：平仮名）and Kanji characters（漢字）.
He writes and posts haiku on his Facebook page every day.
His latest haiku is this:
The relics of Easter ―
Iisuta nokoseshi tobari ya rouzumarii
Among haiku poets in USA, not only Mr. Holmes but also Cor van den Heuvel, Roberta Beary, Michael Dylan Welch, Curtis Dunlap, Charlotte Digregorio, Charles Bane Jr, Diane Dehler, Morgan Harlow, Roberta Burnett, Stevie Strang, J. Andrew Lockhart, George O Hawkins, are Facebook haiku friends of mine.
I sincerely hope that you will be a Facebook friend, and that you will share and exchange poetic works with each other.
The next posting ‘Haiku by Hidenori Hiruta in Japan’ appears on April 10.
― Hidenori Hiruta