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The Second Japan-EU English Haiku Contest

-Winners will be invited to visit Japan or Belgium-


(Guidelines for Submission)


12 May 2011

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

The European Union


n        Introduction

Mr Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council, is a haiku poet who has published his own haiku poetry book. To honor his visit to Japan to attend a Japan-EU Summit meeting in April, 2010, an English Haiku Contest was inaugurated. More than 523 haikuists participated in the competition, putting pen to paper to compose haiku about Japan and Europe.


Leaders of Japan and the EU will meet again this year on the occasion of the Twentieth Annual Summit Meeting in Brussels. Participants will exchange views on how to further strengthen friendships and bilateral relations. As we approach the opening of this year’s Japan-EU Summit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the European Union are pleased to host the Second Japan-EU English Haiku Contest and call on contestants to share their haiku related to the theme of “Kizuna (the bonds of friendship)”.


Of particular note, in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake, the EU has provided relief supplies of, for example, blankets, foods and clothes. Additionally to relief supplies, the EU decided to donate 10 million euros. Japan expresses its heartfelt appreciation for this generous support from the friend.


 The organizers hope that this contest will deepen the bonds of friendship – Kizuna – between Japan and the EU as well as convey the enjoyment of writing and reading English haiku.


The organizers have set up a Fan Page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/haikucontest). Selected haiku will be uploaded to the Facebook Fan Page by the organizers. Those registered on Facebook can communicate with applicants from Japan and the EU. The organizers hope that this contest will serve as an opportunity to encourage mutual understanding among people and promote the interaction of people’s views on Japan and the EU.


n        Organizers: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, the European Union


n        Sponsors: Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan (Known as the center of modern haiku in Japan), Flemish Haiku Center (Belgium)


n        Theme: Kizuna (the bonds of friendship)


n        Regulations: Original, previously unpublished haiku referring to some aspect of the bonds of friendship should be submitted in the English language. Season words are not essential. Keeping in mind that haiku is considered to be the shortest poem in the world, submitting haiku on three lines is recommended (however, up to four lines or fewer than three are acceptable).


n        Limited number of entries: Only one haiku may be submitted per haikuist.


n        Eligibility: The contest is open to the public of nationals of EU member states or Japan who are currently residing in the EU or Japan.


n        Submission: Please download the entry form (Word file)  and submit it by email to:  japaneuhaiku-contest@mofa.go.jp


n        Deadline: 23 May 2011 (7:00 AM, Brussels time)


n        Judges:   Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

     The European Union

     David McMurray, International Haikuist


n        FACEBOOK Fan Page



n        Awards: Two contest winners (one winner from Japan, and one from the EU) will be announced on the occasion of a Joint Press Conference of the 20th Japan-EU Summit meeting to be held in Brussels.  The winner from the EU will be offered a round-trip to Matsuyama City, Japan and a stay in a Japanese style hot spring hotel (in Dogo Onsen) associated with haiku. Matsuyama City is considered to be the centre of modern Haiku in Japan. The winner from Japan will be offered a round-trip to Belgium, the home country of EU President Herman Van Rompuy*.


*The contest winners will be notified by email from the organizer and be given further details of the round-trip prize. Please note that the winner may have to cover some of the travelling costs.

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