Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake (6)


On March 25, 2011, Sarah Jane Robertson, Creative Director at Creative State in UK, told of JAPAN ART AUCTION in her blog as follows:




In April I’ll be taking part in an art exhibition and auction to raise funds for the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Working with Haiku poets Alan Summers, founder of With Words, and Hidenori Hiruta, Secretary General of the Akita International Haiku Network, I’m illustrating two mandala prints to sit alongside the beautiful Haiku they’ve kindly created. The prints will be auctioned as a pair. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank my sponsors Blush Publishing and GF Smith.

So far, more than 40 artists from the UK, Ireland, USA, France, Norway and Japan have pledged to donate existing work or create new pieces. The artists range from photographers and illustrators to writers, ceramic artists and jewellery designers.

The exhibition and auction will take place on Thursday 7 April from 18:30pm – 20:30pm at Studio Manchester, which has been provided courtesy of photographer Jonathan Oakes. Tickets are £10 each and include entry into a Prize Draw for one of the works of art, not to mention food courtesy of Samsi and drink. You can also buy raffle tickets in advance of the night and on the night itself for one of the works of art. Tickets are £5 each or 5 for £20. Email David Milligan-Croft of An Ideal World if you’d like to come along.

100% of proceeds will be donated to the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.

Read more: http://www.creativestate.co.uk/blog/#ixzz1O5s6LIpK
Under Creative Commons License:
Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives

© Sarah Jane Robertson www.sarahjrobertson.co.uk



Here, let me tell about the result, which is taken up in the website

Thereisnocavalry: http://thereisnocavalry.wordpress.com/ .

The article was posted there on April 12, 2011, as follows:


JAA – Tops £5K thanks to Sarah Jane…

Sarah Jane Robertson, Creative Director at Creative State not only kindly created two stunning haiku mandalas for the auction, in collaboration with haiku poets Alan Summers and Hidenori Hiruta, she also continued to sell them via her blog to raise another £400 for the Red Cross. Taking the new total to £5,160!

And, if you’re quick, I think she still has a few sets left, so click on the link to get yourself one before it’s too late. They really are a beautiful and unique set.

The only problem I have with this new figure is that, whilst it looks nicer than £4,660, it’s still a bit messy. So, with your help, I think we should try and get it up to £6,000! (And if you’re wondering what I’m on about, you’ll have to read the previous post!)

Here is a photo of Sunshine Mandala, by Sarah Jane Robertson, UK.



Here is a photo of Sunshine Mandala (detail), by Sarah Jane Robertson, UK.




Here is a photo of Sunshine Mandala (detail), by Sarah Jane Robertson, UK.




Here is a photo of Moonlight Mandala, by Sarah Jane Robertson, UK.




Here is a photo of Moonlight Mandala (detail), by Sarah Jane Robertson, UK.




Here is a photo of framed prints, by Sarah Jane Robertson, UK





Alan Summers, a haikuist friend of mine, also took up this auction in his blog Area 17, titled Alan’s haiku created into posters at Studio Manchester’s Japan Art Auction.

Please visit his blog:



Sarah Jane Robertson tells us about Sunshine & Moonlight mandala letterpress prints in her blog as follows:

Japan Art Auction

These are a set of A3 letterpress prints that I’ve donated to the Japan Art Auction, an exhibition and auction that’s being organised to raise funds for the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal. The event takes place on Thursday 7 April at Studio Manchester and you can find out more about it on David Milligan-Croft’s blog.

The prints, entitled Sunshine & Moonlight, are designed to sit alongside each other, and you can bid on them here until Wednesday 6 April at midnight, following which they go into the exhibition and may go for a higher price on Thursday evening.


The artwork and collaborators

I first found out about the event through Creative Times, an online magazine for the creative community, and I was keen to put my graphic design skills to good use and help. I spent a weekend exploring ideas and coming up with concepts, then got in touch with haiku poet Alan Summers, who kindly created two haiku for me to choose from. I chose both!

The following weekend Hidenori Hiruta, Secretary General of the Akita International Haiku Network, translated the poems while I created the mandala graphics, which were letterpress printed by sponsors Blush Publishing on Bright White and Ebony 350gsm Colorplan, donated by sponsors and GF Smith, to give greater depth and definition.

What is a haiku and where does it come from?

Alan Summers summarises on his website:

“Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry that takes aspects of the natural world as its subject matter. Haiku typically contain a kigo (seasonal reference) and a kireji (cutting word).

English-language haiku is often written in three short lines and read out loud in about six seconds. Written in the present tense, they adopt ordinary language, and work well as two different images that spark off each other.

Haiku don’t tell, or merely describe, they allow the reader to enter the poem in their own way.

Haiku comes from a “first verse” called hokku; they often look incomplete as they originate from a linked verse poem, by different poets. Each verse is completed by the next verse and so on.

They have a special place in the range of poetry known as renga, or renku, that enjoyed a renaissance in 17th Century Japan and continues today in Japan and in the West.

Journalist, writer and poet Masaoka Shiki officially made hokku an independent poem in the 1890s called haiku (singular and plural spelling) and brought the form into the 20th Century.”

Alan Summers

Alan Summers is aJapanTimes award-winning writer for haiku and renku, and has been awarded a Ritsumeikan University of Kyoto Peace Museum Award for haiku.

He is the founder of With Words, a UK-based provider of literature, education and literacy projects, often based around the Japanese genres.

He is based in Bradford-on-Avon,Wiltshire,UK.


Hidenori Hiruta

Hidenori Hiruta (pen name Shuutou Hiruta) is the founder and Secretary-General of the Akita International Haiku Network and a member of the Haiku International Association.

His haiku have appeared in various publications including Asahi Shimbun; Haijinx; Simply Haiku; and HaikuPix Review, and HI (Tokyo).

He is based inAkita, Northern Honshu, Japan.


What is a mandala?

As described by The Mandala Project:

The word “mandala”, from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit, can be loosely translated to mean “circle”. It represents wholeness and can be seen as a model for the organisation structure of life itself; a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relationship with the world around us.

The mandala appears in all aspects of life; the celestial circles we call the earth, sun and moon, as well as the conceptual circles of friends, family and community. 

Here is a photo of moonlight mandala letterpress print (detail).




Printing techniques

Each design is letterpress printed on a Vandercook proofing press.  

Here is a photo of letterpress prints coming off the press at Blush Publishing.




Letterpress is a printing technique dating back to the 16th Century and the process involves inking the surface of movable type or blocks and pressing them onto a surface.

Letterpress prints are crisp and tactile compared to other printing techniques and the impression gives greater visual definition, adding to the original artwork.

Those of you buying prints will also receive postcards summarising this information.   

Here are photos of Sunshine & Moonlight letterpress postcards.




My sponsors

Blush Publishing: a modern letterpress printing studio based in an old paper mill in North Wales,UK. They use traditional printing techniques and vintage printing presses to produce greeting cards, personalised stationery and provide bespoke services.

GF Smith: trading as specialty paper merchant from their base inHull,East Yorkshire for over 100 years, GF Smith source, develop and manufacture some of the most unusual papers for the graphics and printing industries.

© Sarah Jane Robertson



Last of all, let me post a photo of Helen Furnivall from The Red Cross.




You will see all about JAA-CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS AND THEIR WORKS at the  website. http://thereisnocavalry.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/jaa-contributing-artists/      

You will also see how JAA, the exhibition and auction, were given at Studio Manchester at the article in the website below.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The article JAA-LAST CHANCE SALOON was posted on April 11, 2011 at the site: http://thereisnocavalry.wordpress.com/.


The next posting ‘Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake (7) ‘  appears on June 11.


― Hidenori Hiruta



4 thoughts on “Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake (6)

  1. Working with Hidenori Hiruta is a dream come true.

    Together we created bi-lingual haiku that has really caught the imagination of the general public.

    Sarah Jane Robertson worked tirelessly to create superb artwork on a very tight deadline for the auction

    She managed to sell more of our haiku posters, and raised around £500 for these posters, and so far the auction has raised a figure that is over £5000.

    Please do contact Sarah Jane, and thank her, and ask if there are any posters to buy to help support the Japan emergency funds.

    These funds are very much needed, and a constant feed of funds however small all add up to help in this crisis.

    My heartfelt thanks to Hidenori for working tirelessly to help make this happen.

    His translations of more of my work are now being displayed in another unique manner to raise funds.

    Please visit my Area 17 blog to see the latest collaboration with Hidenori Hiruta, and U.K. haiku poet and artist Paul Conneally.

    The image of six haiku as labels for pots of jam can be used to create tea towels or handkerchiefs, which could raise money in your area for Japan too!

    Haiku Jam: weblink

    all my very best, and deepest thanks to Hidenori Hiruta, and Sarah Jane Robertson, and Paul Conneally.

    Alan, With Words

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