The Akita Association of English Studies (AAES)秋田英語英文学会, was established in 1954 at Akita University秋田大学 in Northern Honshu, Japan, aimed at promoting deeper understanding and further studies on the cultural backgrounds of English as the international language, and at providing chances to share and exchange information and ideas on English and English education for the members who are interested in these fields.


AAES President, professor Akira Murakami at Akita University(秋田大学教授村上東会長), gave a symposium titled  “俳句 and Haiku : The short forms of literature and English Education”, on November 27, 2010, at Akita University.

The participants also enjoyed writing haiku in English and selected their favorite haiku each other.  The prizes were awarded for the two best haiku.



Here I refer to the points taken up in the symposium, and post haiku written by some of the participants there.


First of all, here is a notice about the symposium in Japanese.


Haiku Symposium(1)

As the notice shows, Professor Emma TAMAIANU-MORITA, Ph.D. at Akita University gave a lecture, whose title is “Why ‘Less’ is Not ‘More’ in Foreign Language Teaching: Some Reflections from a Linguist’s Perspective.” 



Secondly, I report the main points taken up by three presenters in the symposium.


1  Haiku in English

    a)  Differences between haiku in Japanese and in English

    b)  “17 syllables” question

    c)   Seasonal words (kigo 季語)

   d)   International Haiku 国際俳句


         Professor David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima


 2  Haiku in English education

    a)  The Haiku in the school textbook ‘Sunshine

         by Emeritus professor Minoru Kono at Akita University


    b)  Haiku and haiga by junior high school students in Akita

    c)  Haiku by senior high school students in Akita

    d)  Haiku by students at Akita International University (AIU)国際教養大学

  3   Haiku contests

    a)  Earthday Haiku Contest

    b)  AIU Haiku Contest


 4  Haiku its future in English education   

     Viewpoints by Dr. Akito Arima, President of Haiku International




Last of all, I post haiku written by some of the participants after the symposium.



Hidenori Hiruta                蛭田 秀法 


Old bookworm

ponders between lines…    雪国や行間に住む本の虫

snow country


(prize-winning from Akita International Haiku Network)



Yasushi Sato                     佐藤 康 


With shorter days

Moslems hurriedly walking    短日や祈りに急ぐ回教徒

to go to pray


(prize-winning from Akita Association of English Studies)



Neko Murakami                                村上 猫 


A sunny day nap

Bombardment of ginkgo nuts  銀杏の音に目覚める猫の夢

Wakes up the kitty



Minoru Kono                        幸野 稔 


Indian summer –

A one-year old boy     小春日や小(ち)さき手を振る一歳児

Waving to me.



Peter Hook (Anonymous)      ピーター・フック(匿名)


Autumn rain     

The roof of the on-sen    空覗く温泉の屋根秋の雨

Open to the sky



Anonymous                  作者不明


Sleek on the stems

Thorns of roses      バラのとげ健(けな)げに小春陽(ひ)を映す

In the hazy sunlight



Seisaku Chiba                千葉 星作


how soon by blizzards

Akita will be blanketed    あきたんぼ[秋田んぼ]

stay tuned!                  ふぶきの毛布ぐぐと来い!



Happy Sun


A peninsula

Set off a skyrocket

One’s love for one’s Country



Masanori Watanabe (渡邉政徳)


Practicing an interview

A student tells her dream

Glowing with hope





Sarah, My Dog

You Bring Me the

Joy of Living



“Banana Man”  Peter Hook


Spring wind –

Kids on bikes

Scattering laughter



Anonymous                          作者不明


Thin ice

Cleaning Japanese radishes  薄氷大根洗う木漏れ日に

Sunlight through the trees





Nowhere to lay eggs

Two dragonflies disappear  赤とんぼ稲なき田より飛び去りぬ  

Paddies without rice



Junko Masuda                 桝田 純子


Winter sun beam

has come into the shrine   幸せを祈る本堂冬日さす

praying happiness



Katsuhiro Adachi            安達 勝裕


Since then

I’ve never cured      あの時から癒えぬままの私の心

My mind



T. NIMURE                    二牟礼 勉 


A hurried man

through colored leaves   帰路急ぐ紅葉の中陽を浴びて

in the sun



Yoshiyuki Sugawara          菅原 芳行


The partner in the crime

happened to close the door;  共犯者ドアを閉めたら逃げられず

locked in the room.



Anonymous              作者不明


My love fall

has run away       まちわびた秋足早にすぎさりて 

so fast



Ayako Watanabe(渡部アヤ子)


Happy four-leaf clover

Shines in my hands

With gratitude to Prof. Saibyo



Ueno Murakami



Bat away your fear,

Your anxiety playground,

On dragonflies wings.




Miyake Yoshimi


Stopt driving

On the way to lunch

Red burning Taiheizan





Secrets heard

From your eyes, deep inside

Obsessed by memories





Shining Star

Light in the black

Comes to heart





The king of drink

superb and sparkling

splendid juice





Fallen leaves

Here, there, and everywhere

Under a clear sky





How powerful

A new –born grandson

could curve the disease



It is rare to write haiku in a symposium, but the participants at the symposium found it very interesting and exciting to write and share haiku with each other, and to exchange comments among them.

In my opinion, writing haiku is helpful to express ourselves and to learn how and what to express, and at last makes it easier for us to speak in communicative situations in our daily lives too.

Haiku could be a good topic in our conversation, about which we easily talk with each other.

In other words, haiku could help us gain a better mutual understanding beyond the gaps of cultures.


We sincerely hope that you will get more interested in writing haiku, and that you will contribute your haiku to our network.


The next posting ‘Haiku by Seisaku Chiba in Japan’ appears on January 22.


Hidenori Hiruta