After three years as the ‘Kikakuza International Haibun Contest’, we have now completed another three as the ‘Genjuan Haibun Contest’ and the latest results are now ready to be announced. This year we received 83 entries from 13 countries – Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, UK, and USA. For the first time there were three judges, Hisashi Miyazaki having been co-opted to work beside Nobuyuki Yuasa and Stephen Henry Gill. We also had a new contest officer, Eiko Mori. Initially the judges each came up with different favourite pieces, but in time they all agreed that the winning piece had all of the characteristics we look for in haibun and was the best choice overall, exhibiting great poise.
One point came up several times during judging: it is better not to describe too fully in haibun. Many pieces were written captivatingly, even brilliantly, but perhaps rather too fully. We were looking for gaps or leaps in the narrative in which the reader’s imagination can go to work.
Nobuyuki Yuasa is due to retire from judging the Contest next year and Nenten Tsubouchi to replace him. This will be confirmed when we publish the guidelines for the 2015 Genjuan sometime this summer or autumn.
The judges wish to thank all entrants for their efforts and to congratulate the authors of the ten awarded haibun pieces, who will each be receiving signed certificates. The four prize-winners will get beautiful Japanese traditional artifacts and their pieces will be displayed soon on a special page, ‘Genjuan ’14 Winning Haibun’, accessed via a page link at top right.
The results are as follows:
幻住庵 Grand Prix
Well of Beauty — Margaret Chula, Oregon, USA
庵 An (Cottage) Prizes
The Bardo of Justice — Sonam Chhoki, Bhutan
Caged Birds — Margaret Dornaus, Arkansas, USA
Uncle Walter — John Parsons, Norfolk, UK
There Are Two Moons — David McCullough, Kyoto, Japan
The Meeting — Geethanjali Rajan, Tamil Nadu, India
Prime Meridian — John Kinory, Oxfordshire, UK
Independent Dog — Daniela Kuzmanova, Sofia, Bulgaria
New Beginnings — Barbara A. Taylor, NSW, Australia
Renunciation — Matthew Caretti, Pennsylvania, USA