In the posting this time, I take up AIU Festival 2010 held on October 10-11 at Akita International University(国際教養大学)and the haiku presentation by students at the AIU class of Japanese literature.


AIU Festival 2010 (Part 2)


The theme is shown in the following photos:





Here is a photo of those who enjoyed the festival.




Our network participated in the festival with the title:俳句とHAIKU INTERNATIONAL HAIKU.

We exhibited haiku poems and haiga paintings contributed to our website by AIU professors, students, and other haiku poets worldwide. We also gave live art of haiga painting and poetry recitation.

During the festival, we enjoyed haiku, haiga painting, and recitations with students, teachers and visitors.


Masuda Junko (桝田純子), a haiku poet, gave a haiku recitation for audiences.

She also presented us with her travelogue on 2010 Bath Japanese Festival, in which she participated with her daughter Aika (愛佳) in May and they enjoyed home stay with Alan Summers, founder / tutor With Words (




Here is a photo of audiences who enjoyed Junko’s presentation. 



 Haiku Presentaion (Part 2)


Professor Alexander Dolin teaches Japanese Literature and Civilization Studies at AIU. He also writes haiku.




Recently Professor Alexander Dolin took up haiku in his class of Japanese Literature, where I participated in the haiku presentation by students as a referee on November 15.

His students kindly contributed their haiku to our netwotk, which I post in the website, dividing them into three parts.



Shugo Takahashi (高橋宗吾)



Kyouyoudai  kisetsu no kawarime  hito no wakare


 AIU(Akita International University),

the term when season changes

the term when my friends leave




Natsumatsuri  hanabi miagete  tomo to nomu


 Summer festival

drinking with my friends

as looking up fireworks




Aki no yama  midori no ha kara  koromogae


A mountain in fall

has taken on a fresh new color cloth 

from green leaves




Nengajou  nikagetsu okure de  okuru tomo


New years card

which arrived

two months later




Natsuyasumi  hisabisa ni miru  tomo no kao


In summer vacation,

seeing faces of my friends

which I haven’t seen for long.




Momiji fumu  oto ni kikoeru  mori no koe


The voice of forest

which I hear from

the sound of stepping on fallen leaves.




Emily Eisemann



The month’s at its end

look, all the stones lie silent

as I tread on bones.



Tsuki owaru  ishi mina mokushi  hone wo fumu


It turns toward Spring

the sakura are blooming

there, smell something sweet



Youshun ya  kaori tadayou  sakurabana


Morning is coming

the waves are silver

pounding on the sand



Asaake ya  nami shirogane ni  suna wo utsu


Birds by the window

never stopping, all night

cannnot, cannnot sleep



Yomosugara  tori mado de naki  ware okosu


Fields stretch to the sky

waves of brown, rice in the wind

to the horizon



Cha no nami no  chihei ni nobiru  inada kana


Leonard V. David



Crows make their descent

on white sheets covering rooftops

I see its glory



Kagayaki ya  yane no hakufu ni  karasu oru


Perched on a tree branch

under the bright, blue sky dome

the skylark sings



Doumu shita  eda de saezuru  hibari kana


On orange pathways

I walk with great confusion

Where are the pink trees?



Orennji no  komichi wo aruki  roubaisu  pinku no kigi wa  dokoe kieru ya


Tonight you shall rest

return to your dwelling place

‘til we meet again



Mata aou  koyoi wa yasumi  ieie de



Winds tossing the waves

green buds sprouting everywhere

what magic I see



Kaze fukite  nami wo agetari  midori no me  shihou ni  mebayu  majutsu nari keri



Last of all, I refer to the “17 syllables” question.

You can read two English haiku below, which appeared in the blog Haiku Habits (

Snow floats

in puffs to the silent

soft white floor.



see the snowflakes fall
they are white and beautiful
with all the designs


The first haiku is made up of 2-6-3 syllable format.

The second is made up of 5-7-5 syllable format.

  • The comment was given as follows:

February 7, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I hope dat u people know that a haiku should have 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second line, and 5 in the third.

  • I answered the comment above as follows:

February 8, 2010 at 12:32 am

Many years ago I started English haiku by the 5-7-5 format.
At Mt. Tsukuba
burnishing study, ideas and thoughts
as chestnuts ripen
But some years after, I found it’s better to write haiku in English by the format 3-5-3.
This is more similar to Japanese haiku.
For example, 「少年や」is counted as 5 moras (sho-u-ne-n-ya) in Japanese and makes one phrase of the Japanese haiku.
In this English translation, it is ‘A boy ― ‘, and is counted as 3 syllables.
In this case, ‘A boy over there’ makes one line in the 5-7-5 format in English haiku, but it gives birth to quite a different image from ‘A boy ― ‘ .
This is because there is quite a difference between the two languages of Japanese and English.
Since then I’ve been trying to write haiku in English by the format of 3-5-3.
But sometimes it doesn’t go perfectly because the word used for each line is made up of varieties of syllables.
Now I think haiku is the shortest form of poetry, which is composed of three short lines.
The most important point is what we want to express by this short form.
Maybe this idea leads to the shortest form of poetry, which is composed of any free short three lines.
Please enjoy writing and reading haiku.
Thank you.

Best regards,
Hidenori Hiruta

・  Ken Wagner gave me the following comment:

   Ken Wagner

February 8, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Thanks for your insight, Hidenori.

I get the “17 syllables” question quite often, and it is both helpful – and interesting – to get another perspective on the issue.

I added links to your two sites on the Haiku Habits “Haiku on the Web” page.


The next posting ‘Haiku by Students at AIU (Part 7) appears on December 11.

― Hidenori Hiruta




Dr. Akito Arima 有馬朗人is President of the Haiku International Association (HIA)国際俳句交流協会(, a nonprofit organization aimed at promoting haiku globally.

Dr. Arima also leads the haiku group Ten’I (Providence)天為(




On December 2, I received HAIKU INTERNATIONAL NO.91 published on November 30, 2010.

In the magazine they reported the results of the 12th HIA Haiku contestHIA俳句大会, which was such a nice surprise to me.

That was because I found haiku by two friends of mine in the report.

One haikuist is Chen-ou Liu, who kindly contributed his haiku and tanka to our network.

Chen-ou Liu’s haiku was posted in the website on September 25, and tanka, on October 30.

The other haikuist is Roberta Beary, who kindly contributed her haiku for Int’l Haiku Spring Festival 2010 held by the Akita International Haiku Network with our sister festival 2010 Bath Japanese Festival.

I posted some of Roberta’s haiku from her book nothing left to say  for the festival in the website on May 12.

I would like to express my hearty congratulations on such nice creations of haiku by Chen-ou Liu and Roberta Beary.    


Here I post the names of haiku poets and their haiku selected as prize winners and honorable mentions (Non-Japanese Section). I also post their haiku translated into Japanese.



木内徹選  (Selected by Toru Kiuchi)



特選 (Prize Winners)        



Chen-ou Liu (Canada)          チェン・ウー・リュー(カナダ)


autumn dusk・・・           秋の夕暮れ・・・ 

I stir my coffee            コーヒーをかき回す

anticlockwise             時計と反対で回りで



Kevin O’Donnel (New Zealand)       ケヴィン・オドネル(ンユージーランド)


the winter sun                冬の日が

stretches your shadow          あなたの影を伸ばす

as far as a seagull’s call       カモメの呼び声と同じくらい遠くへ



入選 (Honorable Mentions)



Dubravko Korbus (Croatia)        ドゥブラウコ・コルブス(クロアチア)


the first snowflakes           初雪が

hold down a bowed back of       こごんだ背中をさらに押しつける

the scarecrow                    かかしの



Darrel Lindsey (U.S.A)          ダレル・リンゼイ(アメリカ)


outside the asylum           収容所施設の外で

the vertigo                     眩暈が  

of flowers                     花の



Lyle Rumpel (Canada)          ライル・ランベル(カナダ)


night owl                   夜のフクロウ

the forest grows             森がふくらむ 

between calls                鳴き声のあいだに



Roberta Beary (U.S.A.)             ロバータ・ベアリー(アメリカ)


cherry blossoms             桜の花

the incessant sound           止めどなく

of mother’s cough             母が咳き込む 



木村聡雄選  (Selected by Toshio Kimura)



特選 (Prize Winners)


Urszula  Wielanowska (Poland)     ウルスラ・ウイラノブスカ(ポーランド)


gondola                            ゴンドラ

emerges from the mist           霞より現れて

the end of the canto            歌の終り 



Florentina Loredana Dalian (Romania) フロレンティナL・ダリアン(ルーマニア)


Leaving behind              あとには

a sad lotus in bloom         悲しげな蓮の花 

an alone rower              ひとり漕ぐ



入選 (Honorable Mentions)


M Fazio (Australia)           M・ファチィオ(オーストラリア)   


the town clock                   町の時計

chimes three-regretting        私三時を打てば―悔いる

my words                       我が言葉



Valeria Simonova-Cec (Italy)      ヴァレリア・シモノヴァチェク(イタリー)


cold marble                   ひんやりと大理石

on St. John’s lips            聖ヨハネの唇に

the unspoken word           語られないままの言葉



Robert Naczas  (Ireland)        ロバート・ナクザス(アイルランド)


idle morning ―                けだるい朝

passing magpie                 よぎるカササギ

steals my thought                   我が想いをかすめ  



Malcolm Creese (UK)           マルコム・クリース(イギリス)


With only two notes                  たった二言で

the cuckoo says more than the      カッコウは

blackbird ever can                    ツグミより多くの歌を



Last of all, I refer to what HIA President Akito Arima concluded in the international symposium titled Haiku Worldwide – Present and Future.

The symposium was given for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of HIA on November 28, 2009 in Tokyo.

As panelists, they had Annie Bachini, President of the British Haiku Society, Lenard Moore, president of the Haiku Society of America, Marijan Cekoji, president of the Croatian Haiku Society, Stephan Wolfschutz, president of the German Haiku Society, and Dr. Akito Arima.

Tsunehiko Hoshino, HIA vice-president played a role of coordinator.




Dr. Arima predicted as follows:

Haiku will spread out to the world more because of its brevity and its coexistence with nature.

At present, some young people in Japan write the short poems of three lines: haiku.

As a result, people overseas will have more chances to read English haiku written by native speakers of Japanese.

The international haiku contests could be held on the Internet worldwide in 20 or 30 years. This might be possible because haiku is written in the shortest form of poetry.


We sincerely hope that haiku will be loved in English as well as in their own languages.


                         By  Hidenori Hiruta

                         HIA member



Int’l Haiku Spring Festival 2010 has just started on May 12 on the website of the Akita International Haiku Network in Akita, Northern Honshu, Japan.

At the same time 2010 Bath Japanese Festival , our sister festival, has begun and gives Festival Launch Party in Bath, UK, this evening.

Masuda Aika(桝田愛佳), a haiga painter, and her mother Masuda Junko (桝田純子), a haiku poet, take part in the party as their special guests from Akita (秋田), Japan.

They exhibit haiga (俳画) and haiku (俳句), showing how to paint haiga for the participants in Bath on May 13.

They also enjoy staying with Alan Summer’s family in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire for four days, from May 11 till 14.

Here in Akita, we would like to share the delights and high spirits of our festival with each other, reading aloud haiku by Roberta Beary,  first of all. 

Roberta Beary, a haiku poet, in Washington, USA, contributed her haiku book, ‘nothing left to say’  to us in celebration of the first anniversary of the opening of the Akita International Haiku Network.


Roberta is a haiku friend of Alan’s and mine.

She says in her e-mail as follows:

Hi Hidenori
Thank you for including haiku from my book, ‘nothing left to say’ at the Int’l Haiku Spring Festival in partnership with the 2010 Bath Japanese Festival. I got to meet Alan Summers last September when I traveled to London. He is an amazing person!!

Here is the short introduction: Roberta Beary ( was born and raised in New York City. In 1990 she moved to Japan for five years of haiku study. Her individual poems, an unconventional hybrid of haiku and senryu, have been honored throughout North America, Europe and Asia for their innovative style. Her book of haiku and senryu, The Unworn Necklace (Snapshot Press, 2007), selected as a William Carlos Williams Book Award finalist (Poetry Society of America), was named a Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award prize winner. She also co-edited two Haiku Society of America anthologies both of which were named Merit Book Award winners. Her most recent work, a chapbook titled ‘nothing left to say'(edited by Michael Dylan Welch) is the 20th title in the Hexagram Series of master haiku poets.

Roberta Beary

Here is a photo of me taken in December 2005 at the Kumamoto Hotel in Japan. I was in Kumamoto to receive the Grand Prize in the Kusumakura International Haiku Contest. The prize included a trip to Japan! My winning haiku: thunder/the roses shift/into shadow


Here is the photo of me which appears on my book of haiku, The Unworn Necklace, winner of the Poetry Society of America Finalist Award. A hardcover edition will be published this year by Snapshot Press, UK.


Here is a picture of my husband, the writer Frank Stella, and me taken at The White House Christmas Tour 2009. President Obama was out of town that day!


Now I present the former 17 haiku from her book.

I tell you about her haiku in Japanese, which helps our Japanese readers appreciate them. My interpretation isn’t given as a form of Japanese haiku. 

nothing left to say

an empty nest

fills with snow







break up 

my daughter’s voice cracks

across two continents








my son speaks a secret

i always knew







blue moon

dad’s phone message








third blizzard

the untuned piano’s

middle c






snowed in

the dog clicks

from room to room







just after midnight

he corrects

her auld lang syne






talking divorce

he pours his coffee

then mine






last train

a can rolls the length

of the quiet car






so much silence

on a path

lit by fireflies







we run

out of words






quiet rain

…the deeper quiet

of uncut roses






piano practice

in the room above me

my father shouting






talk of war

 the spin cycle’s

steady hum






culling figs

 mother and son

speaking again







 reading out loud

to an empty room






not hearing it

 till the cat stirs







The latter 18 haiku of ‘nothing to say’ by Roberta Beary appear in the future posting on the website, when we hold our festival again.

Last of all, let me decorate our on line festival with the photo flowers presented by Patricia Lidia, a haiku poet, in Romania.

The next posting ‘Haiku by Helen McCarthy for Int’l Haiku Spring Festival 2010 (2)’ appears tomorrow on May 13.


Hidenori Hiruta


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

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

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.

        Donald Keene


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 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

 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

aye    john

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