Contest Description

In 1996, the “Kusamakura” Haiku Competition was held in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of Natsume Soseki’s arrival in Kumamoto. In addition to celebrating the novelist and haiku poet Soseki, the contest aims to raise awareness of Kumamoto and its haiku to the international level and to further develop Kumamoto’s haiku culture.
We look forward to receiving this year’s entries.



A Brief Background of Haiku

Haiku began in Japan in the 17th century. Haiku are short, image-based poems about things that make people feel connected to nature. In Japanese, haiku traditionally has seventeen syllables divided into three lines of 5-7-5 pattern. 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 a good haiku should evoke in the reader the emotions felt by the poet, and not merely describe these emotions. The effective power comes from simplicity, elegance, and concentration of the mind. Writers of haiku are advised to avoid redundancy.