Dear Haiku Friends,
We hope that you are spending your time with haiku in your own ways. We also live with haiku in our lives. What haiku means to each other’s life might be different. But even in our drastically changing surroundings, we have been writing haiku this year too, because we regard haiku as a means of expressing ourselves and deepening our mutual understanding.
As we look back on this year, we announce the guidelines of the World Haiku Series 2022.
World Haiku Series 2022 : Guidelines
First of All
秋田–Приморский край Friendship Agreement (2010)
In March, 2010, Akita Prefecture in Japan and the government of Primorsky Region in Russia concluded the comprehensive friendship agreement that there should be more exchanges promoted and increased in various fields between them.
Haiku in Vladivostok, Russia (2011)
In September, 2011, Hidenori Hiruta (Member of HAIKU INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION) introduced haiku to children, students, and city people in Vladivostok as part of cultural exchanges under the agreement.
1. Haiku lessons at Eastern School
Hidenori Hiruta gave four lessons to the children from the age of 6 to 9, and told about haiku written by children around the world for the biennial World’s Children Haiku Contest by JAL FOUNDATION.
One of them is the haiku written by a Russian child, which is from a book ‘Haiku by World Children (Chikyu Saijiki)’ of Vol.11 (Impressions of School) published by the JAL Foundation.
Улитки немного опаздывают В школу На двадцать четыре часа. The snails are little bit late To the school For twenty-four hours.
2. Haiku workshops at Far Eastern Federal University
Hidenori Hiruta gave four workshops for the students who studied Japanese at the FEFU School of Regional and International Studies.
Here is a haiku which most pleased those students, causing laughter.
鶯や餅に糞する縁の先 芭蕉 Bush warbler – Shits on the rice cakes On the porch rail Bashō Translated by Robert Hass
3. Tea ceremony and talk on haiku at Japan Center
Hidenori Hiruta gave a talk on ‘Haiku and Tea Ceremony’ for the members of the tea club of Japan Center.
Before the talk he had a bowl of green tea served through the tea ceremony style.
In return he sang his favorite traditional folk song ‘Obonai Bushi（生保内節）’ sung in Akita Prefecture.
Then he introduced his haiku written in the Shinkansen, or the bullet train, for Tokyo on September 25, in which he borrowed the words ‘treasure-like wind’ used in the folk song ‘Obonai Bushi’.
宝風立つ高原や蕎麦の花 Treasure-like wind favors the height – buckwheat flowers
Japan–Russia Haiku Contest (2012–2018)
In May, 2012, the Akita International Haiku/Senryu/Tanka Network organized Japan-Russia Haiku Contest to deepen and enlarge the cultural exchanges based on the agreement, and to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the sister relationship of Akita City and Vladivostok City.
AIHST Network also introduced Ishii Rogetsu, the great haiku poet who was born in Yūwa of Akita City, and celebrated the 140th anniversary of his birth.
The contest continued for 7 years, and found 6,286 haiku submitted from 70 countries.
Here are three haiku awarded in the three categories of Japanese, Russian, and English.
一椀に潟のさざ波しじみ汁 In a bowl ripples of the lake Shijimi clam miso soup 武藤鉦二（秋田県） Shōji Mutō (Akita Prefecture)
Когда же опять В тишине я услышу Как плещет волна? When at last shall I listen again in silence To the sound of waves?.. Людмила Скребнева (Россия) Lyudmila Skrebneva (Russia)
Full moon in summer – ripples in the lake reach the shore kissing our toes Ben Grafström (USA)
Akita International Haiku Contest (2019–2021)
Ben Grafström，the winner of Akita International University President’s Award in the English category of the 4th Japan-Russia Haiku Contest, willingly joined the Akita International Haiku /Senryu/Tanka Network in 2015.
He published the official journal ‘Serow’ of the Akita International Haiku Network from 2018. He also started the 8th Akita International Haiku Contest in 2019 after the 7th Japan-Russia Haiku Contest was over.
In October, 2022, Ben Grafström has started PhD research at Oslo University in Norway. His dissertation topic is… AKITA! He is joining a research group on Asian religious festivals. His topic is mountain worship (centered on Mount Taihei) in Akita City and the folk religious-festivals associated with it. Particularly, he will be examining the region’s sharp population decline & current precarious state of preserving these centuries-old folk traditions. His research lasts for three years.
This is why AIHN announced ‘An End to our Annual Haiku Contests’ on the website. The 10th Akita International Haiku Contest turned out to be the last contest.
World Haiku Series (2019–2021)
In 2019, the Akita International Haiku Network started ‘World Haiku Series 2019’ as a new project. This is because AIHN felt very grateful to haiku poets and haiku lovers around the world for having submitted their haiku to the Japan-Russia Haiku Contest from 2012 until 2018, and also because AIHN celebrated the 330th anniversary of Bashō’s visit to Kisakata in Akita Prefecture.
Fortunately, the World Haiku Series has been going on, thanks to the enthusiasm and support of the haiku poets and haiku lovers around the world.
Aims: To share haiku with haiku poets, haiku lovers, or haiku beginners around the world, to appreciate each other’s haiku, and to deepen mutual understanding each other.
Eligibility: Open to all!
Theme: Earth 地球
Language: Any language is allowed to be used, but English translation must be added when haiku is not composed in English.
- Ten haiku per person, haiku written in 2022
- Photo haiku is also OK.
- No problem whether published or unpublished
Bio: Please add your short bio or your recent report, and your photo.
Photo: Please add photos of your favorite things or anything inspiring, if possible.
Submission period: October 5–November 30, 2022
E-mail: Please send your haiku to the address below.
Results: The names of participants are announced at the beginning of December on the website.
Ten haiku appear at a time by the alphabetical order of the participants from the beginning of December on the website below.
Organizer: The Akita International Haiku Network
Sponsors: The Haiku International Association, The Committee to Register Haiku as UNESCO World Heritage, Akita Prefecture Government, Akita International University, Akita Prefectural Board of Education, Akita City, Akita City Board of Education, and Akita Sakigake News.
Hidenori Hiruta: email@example.com