Contest Description

In 1996, the “Kusamakura” Haiku Competition was held in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of Natsume Soseki’s arrival in Kumamoto. This contest strives to celebrate the novelist and haiku poet Soseki, as well as to bring awareness of “Kumamoto and its Haiku” to the national level and further develop Kumamoto’s haiku culture. we are especially looking forward to receiving entries from applicants for this year’s haiku competition.

A Brief Background of Composing Haiku

Haiku began in Japan during the 17th century. Haiku are short, image-based poems about the things that make people feel connected to nature. In Japanese, haiku traditionally have seventeen short sounds divided into three lines of a 5-7-5 syllable pattern, with the middle line longer than the first and third lines. In Japan, people of all ages and walks of life write haiku and people all over the world write haiku in many different languages. Most, though not all, haiku reflect nature or one of the four seasons. The words of haiku should evoke in the reader the emotions felt by the poet, and not merely describe these emotions. The effective power of poetic device in a language comes from simplicity, elegance and concentration of the mind. Writers of haiku are advised not to repeat words or ideas that convey the same meaning or feeling. That is, redundancy should be avoided.