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The Results of the 31st

There were 33,940 entries in theEnglish Haiku division of this contest. (All division combined featured entries from 62 different contries.) We would like to introducethe winning pieces of this English Haiku division.

Grand Award

a jellyfish plays jazz piano trumpet contrabass and vocal all alone

I’ve never heard the noise a jellyfish makes, not once, but I can still really get behind the phrase “a jellyfish plays.” It’s always moving with the waves, like its entire body is a physical representation of sound waves. If you had to consider a genre of music, then, which one? The author decided upon jazz in a flash of insight, imparting that scene perfectly. Furthermore, jellyfish jazz is a one-man band kind of performance, with a single fish playing all the parts. Having imparted this incredible feat in such a short English phrase in itself is quite an incredible feat.
〈Arthur Binard〉

Award for excellence

  • at the restaurant when a waiter brings food fidget for some reason
  • I'm absent from school sometimes watch the clock think about classmates
  • Grandma's house is all about mountains.
  • once a month I dye my mother's hair in the living room
  • Aquarium You watch fishes I watch you
  • In the picture Mother and Father without me
  • go to school earlier than anyone to step on frost columns
  • when did it climb the third step ? grass in the crack
  • mother's day telling stories to my grandchild about her mother

Judges’ Award

  • Arthur Binard
    In the sea A jellyfish is all Exercise

    Let me just get this out there: I’ve never had a cellphone, and I never will. The main reason being, if you get hooked on some gimmicky device then you might miss the opportunity for an interesting encounter. The author of this piece expresses a meeting with a beautiful sunset, and also those poor people missing it due to being chained to their smartphones.

  • Tsunehiko Hoshino
    zoo sleeping animals a crying child・・・

    Taking a butterfly flitting along and turning that pursuit into “hide and seek.” The game ends with getting caught in spider webs, perhaps akin to being tagged out of the game. This depicts a natural vivid scene of children playing, and it feels like you can even see their bemused faces.

Sponsors’ Award

  • Haiku International Association (H.I.A)
    Minute hand and second hand hold an athletic meet


  • Arthur Binard

    As I parse this wide variety of English haiku, I sometimes find myself somewhere in-between the English and Japanese versions of the art form. You can try to find some baseline standard for English haiku - so the number of syllables isn’t as important, and the restriction on seasonal language is relaxed, meaning really it just comes down to the form of expression - but that can only take you so far. At the core, it comes down to the quality of the discovery being expressed. If a small, vivid discovery can be effectively expressed in something so short, then it feels like that can be called an English haiku. There is a chance that we are on the verge of a transformation in the English form, toward something more legitimate. I was able to select some wonderful pieces from the “discoveries” on offer this time as well.

  • Tsunehiko Hoshino

    The number of English haiku we received has greatly increased again this year, reaching approximately 34,000. We have people participating from 63 different countries, making this a truly international contest. There are some pieces that don’t restrict themselves to seasonal words or language, but I noticed plenty on the topic of summer, and sensed an expansion in the type of subject matter being used. It is important to remain aware of the idea of using English to reach the whole world. However, I also felt that basing pieces on activities or customs unique to Japan could lead to losing something in translation. Consideration needs to be given to universality of content and the correct application of English.

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