Genjuan International Haibun Contest 2021 GUIDELINES

Genjuan 幻住庵 is the name of the cottage near Lake Biwa where, in 1690, Basho lived for a time. His residence in this ‘Vision-Inhabited Cottage’ was probably the happiest period of his life, and it was there that he wrote his most famous short haibun. The purpose of the Contest is to encourage the writing of fine haibun in English and maintain the connection between the traditional Japanese perception of haibun and what is evolving around the world. The judges are hoping that the Contest will continue to receive a warm response from all haibun writers. The award for the Grand Prix remains the same – a fine, full-size replica of a Hokusai or Hiroshige ukiyo-e print – and smaller gifts will be sent to the An (Cottage) Prize-winners. The writers of all the decorated works will receive a certificate of merit. We sincerely look forward to your participation.

Guidelines for 2021

Subject:                  Free.

Style:                      No restrictions, but special attention must be paid to honour the spirit of haikai. This includes such features as the subtle linking of haiku with prose, omission prompting the reader’s imagination, humour and self-deprecation. (Examples of previous year’s winning works can be viewed via the Genjuan page links at top rt. of our top page)

Length:                   In total, between 7 and 35 lines. A 3-line haiku counts as 3 lines; the title, as 1 line.

Haiku/Title:            At least one haiku (no formal restrictions) should be included and each piece should be given a title.

Format:                   Please send your entries by email copy-and-pasted into the body of the text to: Ms. Junko Oda at . Please note that entries sent as attachments will not be accepted! Your privacy will be strictly protected, and the judges will not see your names until the awards list has been decided.

6 Subject Line:           Please write Genjuan Entry, year of competition, your name. For example: Genjuan Entry, 2021, Mary Somebody.

7 Deadline:                 Entries should be sent between December 1st and January 31st inclusive.

8 Entry Fee:                None.

9 Restrictions:            Entrants can send up to two entries, unpublished and not under consideration elsewhere.

10 Questions:             All queries should be sent to Officer, Junko Oda at

11 Judges:                  Akiko Takazawa, Stephen Henry Gill (Tito), Sean O’Connor

12 Results:                 The results will be posted on the Hailstone Icebox site by May, after awardees have first been notified by email. Later, the prize-winning pieces will be posted there on a dedicated page and a number of awarded pieces may be published in The Haibun Journal, too. Judges’ comments will, in due course, be sent to awardees, together with prizes and/or certificates of merit.