Contest Description

The City of Kumamoto is beautiful in nature and rich in historic and cultural heritage. The famous Japanese novelist and haiku poet Natsume Soseki stayed here for more than four years and worked as an eminent educator and a literary man.

In 1996, the “Kusamakura” Haiku Competition started in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of Natsume Soseki’s arrival in Kumamoto. Celebrating him and his contribution to the literary area of novel and haiku in Kumamoto, we raised “Kusamakura” Haiku Competition to activate the City of Kumamoto and its haiku culture. This Competition has now the history of 28 years, with a good deal of achievement, growing up to the international level.

We are looking forward to receiving your entry to the International “Kusamakura” Haiku Competition.



A Brief Background of Haiku

Haiku began in Japan in the 17th century. A haiku is a short, image-based poem 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, haikus reflect seasonal features of nature. The words of a good haiku should evoke in the reader the emotions felt by a haiku poet. The effective power of a poem comes from simplicity, elegance, and concentration of the mind. Writers of haiku poems are advised to avoid any repetitive redundancy and stereo-typedness.