Firstly, let me tell you about Japan – Russia Haiku Contest(日露俳句コンテスト)organized by the Akita International Haiku Network.

The submission period ended yesterday, May 25.

A lot of haiku on the theme “the sea” were written and submitted by students and poets overseas as well as in Japan.

We are very grateful to them for their submission.

We are also pleased to have haiku submitted not only from Vladiovostok, Primorsky Krai, Sakhalin, Magadan, Birobidzhan, Novosibirsk, Ufa, Blagoveshensk, Sverdlovsk, Perm, Chuvashiya, Moscow, Moscow region, Kaluga, Krasnodar, Saint-Petersburg, Tihvin, but also from Tatarstan, Ukraine,Taiwan, and Sweden.

In particular, we are deeply moved that a poet in Ukraine wrote and contributed haiku and tanka to us in celebration of the opening of Japan – Russia Haiku Contest.

Secondly, all of the submitted haiku seem to be so good and nice that judges will have much difficulty in selecting prize-winning haiku.

All of them appear in this website in September, with no names of the writers, but with the names of the areas submitted from.

The results are announced at Haiku Meet held on September 22 in Akita CityJapan and at the other Haiku Meet held on September 29 in Vladivostok City, Russia. And they are posted in this website too.

Thirdly, we would like to express a lot of thanks to the JAL Foundation for sponsoring Japan – Russia Haiku Contest.

JAL Foundation Award is presented to two haiku. And each winner of the prizes is presented with Haiku By World Children (地球歳時記).

Fourthly, let me post Haiku By World Children Vol.11 : Impressions of School(がっこうのうた)contributed by the JAL Foundation for the contest.

You can get the haiku book through


Here are some photos of the haiku and pictures by world children.





Lastly, I sincerely hope that such haiku contest as this will be more and more helpful in deepening mutual understanding among people, in promoting the interaction of people’s views on Japan and Russia, as well as in conveying the enjoyment of writing and reading haiku.


The next posting ‘For New Year 2012 (13) : Haibun by Roberta Beary, USA ’ appears on June 2.


― Hidenori Hiruta ( Member of HIA)




The Akita International Haiku Network is now organizing Japan – Russia Haiku Contest(日露俳句コンテスト), sponsored by The JAL Foundation(日航財団).

The JAL Foundation has just contributed Haiku By World Children Vol.10 : Impressions of Wind (かぜのうた) for the contest.


Here is a photo of the haiku book.




You can get the haiku book through


Here is Prologue “Sense of Life by Tota Kaneko.

It says in the first paragraph as follows.


When I heard that the 10th edition of Haiku by World Children was being published, it reminded me of one haiku that was in its first edition published about 20 years ago and has somehow stayed in my mind all these years:

It read:


     Hey, bamboo shoots

     They are going to take

     My cast off too!

                   Yohei Hatagami (Translated by Jack Stamm)



生き物感覚 金子兜太(俳人)


           たけのこよぼくもギブスがとれるんだ(畑上 洋平)



Here are some photos of the haiku and pictures by world children. And the other paragraphs of Prologue sometimes appear among them.




The author was a seven-year-old Japanese boy. In this haiku, two scenes blend quite naturally like a duet – bamboo shoots shedding their skin layer by layer and this boy having his plaster cast removed gradually as his recovery progresses. I was impressed by the high caliber of this haiku. To this boy, he and the bamboo shoot must have been one. He must have sensed that they were both living things sharing a common life force.                                                     ( Continued.)


作者は日本人の七歳の男の子。筍(たけのこ)の皮が次々に剥がれて(はがれて)落ちてゆく様子と、少年自身のギブスが、回復にともなってとれてゆく様子が、ごく自然に重なって(重奏感があって)、スケールの大きい俳句だと感銘したのである。少年にとっては、自分も筍も同体だったのだろう。どっちも同じ生き物として感覚していたのだ。                              (続く)



I call such sense the “sense of life”. It can be wrapped up in the broader concept of animism, but I call it the sense of life in reference to the art of expression. This sense comes quite naturally with children, but I was wondering how that is with adults. For starters, I ask Matsuo Basho as he was the man who had established haiku as a form of poetry.                                                                                                  (Continued.)



子どもにとっては極く(ごく)自然なのだが―おとなの場合はどうかと思って、まず松尾芭蕉(まつおばしょう)に問いかけてみた。芭蕉は俳句を詩として確立した人である。 (続く)             



Basho had an answer to my question as, in his later years, he used to say “make haiku as children play” or “let the 3-foot-tall child in you be the poet”. But he himself could not do so. Basho could not allow himself to become a child because he and his haiku became the subject of literary criticism, as exemplified by his works being summarized under the literary concept of “karumi (lightness).” Basho had regretted this until he breathed his last.                                  (Continued.)


芭蕉は承知していた。晩年になって、「俳諧(はいかい)を子どもの遊ぶごとくせよ」 とか、「三尺の童(わらべ)にさせよ」と言ったのである。しかし芭蕉にはできなかった。「かるみ」という文芸概念(ぶんげいがいねん)でくくられているように、文芸論として語られて、芭蕉自身は「子ども」にはなれなかったからである。だから死ぬまで悔しがっていた。                           (続く)



But there were some adults who had been blessed with the sense of life. I see such examples in haiku composed by Hirose Izen, one of Basho’s followers, while he was wandering through various provinces after Basho was gone. For example:


     Japanese plum flowers

     red, red

     red, indeed


     A water bird

     sliding to the other bank

     straight, swift and quiet











Kobayashi Issa, whom I consider Basho’s true successor, made a good number of such haiku including:


    Front teeth loosening

    like poppies unstable

    in the breeze


Issa was seeing something in common between his front teeth starting to come loose and poppy petals swaying in the breeze – a commonality as living beings, a common life force.                                                              (Continued.)





 自分のぐらつきだした前歯と芥子(けし)の花びらも、まったく同じ生きものとして、そのいのちを感覚していたのである。                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             (続く)




I am a firm believer that any adult can possess the sense of life. In my view, such an adult has something in common with an innocent child. My old friend Jack Stamm was such a man. He helped translate haiku composed by contestants from around the world in the series’ early editions and his excellent translations were well-known. I am sure up in the heaven he is pleased at the news of this 10th edition.



Haiku of Hirose Izen and Kobayashi Issa presented above were translated by Akira Nakagiri.  (The End.)


.「生きもの感覚」はおとなにも可能、と確信しているのだが、そうしたおとなは、どこか無邪気で子どもに共通しているところがある。この歳時記のはじめのころ、英訳に協力していたジャック・スタムの名訳は有名だったが、かれは子どものような人だった。十集の発刊を天国で喜んでいることだろう。                                                                                                                                              (終わり)


Lastly, we sincerely hope that you will enjoy Haiku in your own ways or through Haiku contest.


The next posting ‘Haiku by World Children : Impressions of School’ appears on May 26.


― Hidenori Hiruta ( Member of HIA)



The Akita International Haiku Network is now organizing Japan – Russia Haiku Contest(日露俳句コンテスト, sponsored by The JAL Foundation日航財団.

The JAL Foundation has just contributed Haiku By World ChildrenFor a New Century あたらしいうたfor the contest.


Here is a photo of the haiku book.



They say in the beginning as follows.


Let’s Enjoy Haiku

Do you know that Haiku is very similar to pictures and music?

  The only difference is that instead of crayons and sounds, Haiku uses words. You paint with words instead of colours and connect words rather than sounds. By doing this, you can create scribble on a page and a melody of words.

This is both Haiku and poetry.

  So, let’s enjoy writing our own Haiku without worrying about strict rules.

  That’s right. Even in Japan there was a famous Haiku poet who wrote his Haiku without being particular about rules. His name is Taneda Santoka. Santoka continually composed his Haiku while on his travels on foot.


Further I delve Further I delve  The lush mountain    Samtoka 


The crow cries  I too am alone                           Samtoka


Squashed underfoot, a dandelion

Blooming, a dandelion                                   Samtoka



 知ってる? 俳句って、絵画や音楽にとっても似ているんだ。






分け入っても 分け入っても 青い山    山頭火

からす鳴いて、わたしも一人         山頭火

ふまれてタンポポ ひらいてタンポポ    山頭火



Here are some photos of the haiku and pictures by world children.

You can get the haiku book through




Lastly, we sincerely hope that you will enjoy Haiku in your own ways or through Haiku contests.


The next posting ‘Haiku by World Children : Impressions of Wind’ appears on May 19.


― Hidenori Hiruta ( Member of HIA)



On December 20, 2011, Patricia Lidia in Romania, kindly presented a haiku calendar to us.

The haiku calendar was made by Ioana Dinescu and Constanta Erca in Romania.

Here is a photo of the month May.




lively beetles –

on the garden wires

traces of dew                            Patricia Lidia


元気なカブトムシ ―


露の跡             パトリシア・リディア



Ioana Dinescuhas contributed her photo haiku to us.

Please enjoy her photo haiku with my Japanese translation. 

You can enjoy them in her blog too. 




Easter time –

clucking hen on the eggs

the rainbow


復活祭の時 ―





remaining alone

Harlequin plays chess

on his own costume


一人残っている ―






Easter time –

each egg bears

a light


復活祭の時 ―






egg and pasqueflower

both white with yellow inside –

the red belongs to Him



両方とも白、内側は黄色 ―





leaving behind

a trail of light –

twilight and snail



光の跡を ―





snail in twilight –

with all the light on its back

dreams of being a firefly


薄明かりのカタツムリ ―






dead bird

yet a feather flutters

in the wind







On April 24, I received an e-mail from Mr. Pravat Kumar Padhy, India.

He says as follows.

I submit a haiku sequence, ‘ The World of Difference’ expressing solidarity towards the differently abled people.Hope you may like them.


Pravat Kumar Padhy, India




The World of Difference: A Haiku Sequence

world disability day

they join hands for a

virtual circle







the blind boy senses

from its calmness


月光 ―




world of difference

she shares her smiles

with all absences






rainbow sky

her broken voice adds

a lot of colors






bright sunlight— 

falling short of

for the blind


明るい日光 ―




tender breeze— 

her feeling raises

high waves


優しいそよ風 ―




warm touch— 

the stone melts

with grief







The next posting ‘Haiku by World Children : Impressions of Wind’ appears on May 12.


― Hidenori Hiruta