Let haiku be on the UNESCO list! (42)

Let haiku be on the UNESCO list!

On the morning of October 25, 2014, Mr. Masayuki Tsuchihashi, Mr. Hayato Shimokubo, Mr. Takayuki Fukuyama, Ms. Chen Ching Ling (Taiwan), Ms. Rachel Alexandra Bawerbank (UK), and Ms. Jessica Williams (UK) reached Akita Station by bus from Tokyo to take part in the 29th National Culture Festival Haiku events held at the Akita International University. They were students at the International University of Kagoshima, where Mr. David McMurray teaches International Haiku as Professor of Department of International Studies. 

That morning they enjoyed the national culture festival with high school students.


  That afternoon the students listened to Dr. Akito Arima, the president of the Haiku International Association addressing academics in an effort to convince them that haiku should be added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.


Arima 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, he garnered support for his idea that “haiku can help make the world peaceful.”

A year after, on November 3, 2015, four of the students who had attended the 29th National Culture Festival Haiku events in Akita, played leading parts among 26 students who carried out the Only One Kagoshima Tree Haiku Contest festival as one of the 30th National Culture Festival Haiku events in Kagoshima.

Mr. Hayato Shimokubo played a part of a coordinator in the panel discussion, giving me a chance to refer to 27 letters of support of the campaign “Let haiku be on the UNESCO list!” sent by Ms. Djurdja Vukelic Rozic in Croatia and her haiku friends.    

It was also another good chance to show the signatures of 106 haikuists from 15 different countries, supporting the campaign, who signed at the Second International Haiku Conference in Poland, 17 May 2015, at the 19th Haiku Meeting in Croatia, 13 June 2015, and at Gathering of haiku poets in the Castle of Zrinski in Croatia, 12 September 2015.

Lastly, here are three pictures taken by Ms. Chen Ching Ling.




By Hidenori Hiruta

13 thoughts on “Let haiku be on the UNESCO list! (42)

  1. This was a terrific event filled with the many wonders of haiku and it really got me intrigued in haiku. My name is Shuma Inamori fron Kirishima Kagoshima in Japan and I study international haiku at The International University of Kagoshima.

  2. Mr.Hiruta
    My name is WANGZHAOJUN,I met you at ONLY HAIKU CONTEST in kagoshima. I am a Chinese univercity student . I sopport UNESCO recognitional haiku.Here’s my message in Chinese.


  3. Absolutely.
    Originaly haiku is a uniquet sound in Japanese.
    But even in english we can obviously feel a deffirent type.

  4. i felt good Haiku will maybe be acknowledged by UNESCO.if haiku is acknowledged by UNESCO, i will teach children how to make haiku, because i major in education. i will get the teacher’s license when i graduate from the college.i want to teach haiku in Japanese and english languages.

  5. Mr.Hiruta
    My name is LIUSHAOCONG.I heard that you would come to kagosima for ONLY HAIKU CONTEST in kagoshima. So i went to meet you, I’m a Chinese student in Kagosima. It was very interesting and i learnt lots of about haiku. Here is the message in Chinese.

  6. Mr.Hiruta
    My name is WENJING.I heard that you would come to Kagosima for ONLY HAIKU CONTEST in kagoshima.I am interesting in haiku.so,i met you when you come .i will learn haiku in the future.

  7. Hello everyone
    My name is LIU XIAOCHEN,I am a from chiana student. I wet to ONLY HAIKU CONTEST in kagoshima. I like haiku.

  8. My name is Baiyige , I am a Chinese univercity student . this is a very good communication adtivities let me more interested in haiku.

  9. Actually i went to akita international haiku contest.
    my name is Takayuki Fukuyama .
    That day was so nine time for me.
    I learned many things about english haiku and I met Mr Hiruta and Mr Arima!!
    they are so great person.
    I want to go akita again!!

  10. Thank you very much for your nice comments. Thanks to your great hospitality, we enjoyed 2nd Only One Tree Haiku Contest at your university. We sincerely hope that you enjoy haiku in your busy, busy lives.
    By the way, on January 12-14, 29 students from Kagoshima Shugakukan High School visited English Village at Akita International University as part of their school excursion.
    Now in Akita, it is very cold and snowy, but snowman is very fine!
    Please tell me when you will come to Akita, and you will stay home with us.
    Best wishes. Hidenori Hiruta

  11. Mr.Hiruta, thank you very much for giving us good memories about haiku in Akita and haiku in Kagoshima.
    On February 5th, students from International University of Kagoshima are going to Kagoshima Shugakukan high school to teach haiku in English. I hope that we can meet 29 students and teachers who went to Akita International University.
    Please see this Page  Is this the teacher who went to Akita?

    Best wishes, Hayato Shimokubo.

  12. Mr. Shimokubo, nice to hear from you again.
    I am greatly delighted that you and your friends kindly teach haiku in English to high school students.
    Please send our best regards to the students and teachers who came to Akita.
    I found out that they enjoyed their visit to AIU on the Sakigake newspapers, so I had no chance to meet them.
    I have no idea of who came with the students, but maybe it seems that the teacher you referred to is one of them.
    Please enjoy teaching haiku in English this time too.

    Best wishes, Hidenori Hiruta

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