January 18th, 2006

Egrets Reading

Ito En Haiku Contest

The deadline for the famous Ito En Haiku Contest is next month. The biggest cash prize, ¥500,000, is for Japanese language poems only. This translates to $4,334.63 USD and also includes a set of Ito En green tea products bearing the winning poem on the product labels. I remember a conversation I had with a haiku poet at the 2002 Haiku Pacific Rim who paid a translator to translate her haiku into Japanese specifically for this contest. I think she ended up with several cases of green tea.

However, there is a Special Award which also applies to English language haiku with a cash prize of
¥200,000 in addition to the green tea products, which at $1,733.85 USD is still a serious amount of money.

There is no entry fee and there's an online application if you wish to give it a shot!

I'm not certain whether the 5-7-5 requirement applies to English language syllables, or whether just to Japanese onji.

I'll post more if I find out anything else.