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Genjuan Haibun Contest 2015 Results

Posted in Haibun, News with tags , , on May 1, 2015 by Tito
Grand Prix:
Mining Memories – Sonam Chhoki (Bhutan)
An (Cottage) Prizes:
Inupiat Lessons – Doris Lynch (USA)
A Cycle Ride – Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy (India/UK)
Cattle Dreaming – Barbara A. Taylor (Australia)
Honourable Mentions:
In Country – Carol Pearce-Worthington (USA)
New Year’s Eve, 12/31/2014 – Earl R. Keener (USA)
The Visitant – Barbara Strang (New Zealand)
My Husband’s Croissants – Margaret Chula (USA)
Learning English – Dru Philippou (USA)
Nenten Tsubouchi, Stephen Henry Gill (Tito), Hisashi Miyazaki
This year we had 106 entries from 15 different countries, a very encouraging response. Firstly, the judges wish to thank all those who took the trouble to send something in to the Contest Office. Secondly, we offer our hearty congratulations to the authors of the above decorated works. It was not too onerous a job for the judges to bring the field down to a short-list of 16 works, but it proved rather difficult to decide on the winners. As it turns out, American writers had a very good year and the British and Irish, not such a good one. Many of the ones that fell at the last hurdle were by writers from the latter two countries. This we learned after the judging was finished. It is good to see awards going this year both to poets in Oz and in NZ. With Nepal now drawing the world’s attention because of the suffering of its people in the wake of the Earthquake, it is remarkable that the Grand Prix has been won by an author from Himalayan neighbour, Bhutan, which we sincerely hope escaped the terrible destruction further to the west. The piece is a tour de force and included an apposite classical quotation, something there is perhaps too little of in Western haibun. A Japanese haibun contest was concurrently held by Nenten’s ‘Sendan’ group and the three judges had to work on those pieces almost in parallel. A busy time! The winning piece in that contest was a whimsical haibun about how it is that tuna die. In future we hope to be able to translate that work and share it here. The top four Genjuan works will be posted later this month as a special page on the Icebox for all to enjoy.

Guidelines and deadline for the 2016 Genjuan Contest have now been posted on a separate page (click the page link at top right).

Genjuan Haibun Contest Decorated Works 2012-2014 published

Posted in Book, Haibun, News with tags , on March 30, 2015 by Tito

We are glad to report that “Genjuan Haibun Contest Decorated Works 2012-2014″ has just been published. It contains all 29 awarded haibun pieces from these years and follows on the heels of its sister publication, “Kikakuza Haibun Contest Decorated Works 2009-2011″, which was compiled by the same two judges, Nobuyuki Yuasa and Stephen Henry Gill. KC4F0006The works come from many different countries around the world. The book costs ¥1,000 and the p&p charge to be added is likely to be around ¥510 abroad and ¥220 within Japan. We will decide a round figure and post it onto the Publications page soon (see link at top right of this page).

All entrants to the Contest during the years 2012-14 will in due course be sent a complimentary copy! Hopefully this will be done by May. Entry into our Contest has always been free, yet we send out real prizes and certificates to awardees, and we have always felt that we wish to return the support we enjoy from so many poets by also sending out a free copy of our resultant publication. Please be patient as we strive to find the time to perform this task.

The book also contains 4 classical haibun (by Basho, Kyorai, Buson, Issa), 3 haibun by the judges, judges’ comments, 13 classical illustrations (by Basho, Taiga, Buson, Goshun), 4 photos of classical haibun sites, and a preface and ‘farewell’ (including some words on the nature of haibun) by Nobuyuki. SHG has added a postscript.

This year’s judging has reached its final stage, but the announcement of the 2015 Contest results is likely to take a few more weeks, please note. When ready, it will be made here.

Genjuan International Haibun Contest 2015

Posted in Challenge!, Haibun, News with tags , , on September 6, 2014 by Tito

This is Japan’s only international haibun contest. Entry is free and there are prizes and certificates. With the retirement of Nobuyuki Yuasa after serving for six years as judge of (first) the Kikakuza and (subsequently) the Genjuan Contests, this year we have one new judge, Nenten Tsubouchi, who is welcomed as one of Japan’s most respected haiku poets with an unusual interest in haibun. He is a modernist with a very strong classical foundation. You can see a photo and learn a little more about him here

Ideally, there will be one Grand Prix, a number of An Prizes (‘Cottage’ Prizes, highly commended), and some Honourable Mentions, too. The authors of entries chosen for the first two of these categories will receive prizes, and all decorated works will warrant a certificate from the organizers. In the spring, the results will be displayed here on the Hailstone Icebox and elsewhere. You can read last year’s winning pieces on a separate page (‘Genjuan Winning Haibun’).

Entries to : Ms. Eiko Mori, 2-11-23-206 Jokoji, Amagasaki-shi, Hyogo-ken 660-0811, Japan (to arrive between 1 Oct. 2014 and 31 Jan. 2015)

We have lowered the minimum length stipulation to make it easier for writers using English as their second language. Each entry should total 10 to 40 lines (at 1 line = 80 spaces), with title and at least one haiku (no formal restrictions). Print on one side of A4, if possible, with your name and address, tel. no., and email address typed along the bottom. The judges will not get to know your identity until judging is over and the Genjuan Contest office already knows the results.

Judges: Nenten Tsubouchi, Stephen Henry Gill, Hisashi Miyazaki.

Full details via the page link (top right) ‘幻住庵 Genjuan International Haibun Contest 2015 Guidelines’.  Please do take part!

Genjuan Haibun Contest 2014 Results

Posted in Haibun, News with tags , , on April 21, 2014 by Tito
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 14 countries –  Australia, Bhutan, 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. You may now read their haibun pieces on a special page, ‘Genjuan ’14 Winning Haibun’, accessed via the page link at top right of the top page.

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, Thimphu, Bhutan
Caged Birds — Margaret Dornaus, Arkansas, USA
Uncle Walter — John Parsons, Norfolk, UK
Honourable Mentions
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

Genjuan Haibun Contest Deadline

Posted in Challenge!, Haibun with tags , on January 12, 2014 by Tito

. Haibun is one of the most rewarding of the haiku arts, both for writer and reader. The deadline for entries to this year’s Genjuan Haibun Contest is coming up fast – January 31st. The Office is apparently lenient with entries received a few days after that date, but only a few days! Please note that the Contest Office is now in Kansai, not Tokyo. This is still Japan’s only haibun contest.
. Nobuyuki Yuasa has announced that he wishes to retire from judging next year, but that he is very much looking forward to reading this year’s entries! Awarded pieces will appear in a book we intend to publish later this year. This is an international contest, and we welcome your participation, whatever country you may live in. Entry is free.
. The Contest Guidelines are to be viewed through the page link at top right of our top page. (Click the photo of hailstones to return to the top page.) Examples of previous years’ decorated pieces are accessed via further page links there.

Interesting articles on haibun

Posted in Haibun, New Year, News with tags on January 7, 2014 by Tito

Happy New Year to all our readers!
An interesting two-part article by Joan Zimmerman has appeared at Contemporary Haibun Online. The first one is published at
and entitled “What Haibun Poets Can Learn From Non-haikai Western Poetry Practices”.
The second is at and is entitled “”What English-Language Haibun Poets Can Learn From Japanese Practices”.

Some background about the British haibun tradition

Posted in Haibun, News with tags , on November 22, 2013 by Tito

An interesting article has appeared in the e-zine, Haibun Today. It is called ‘Transmissions of Haibun’ and is penned by David Cobb. In it, he makes the point that at present Japan is rediscovering haibun as an import from abroad (a bold claim, but not without a grain of truth, as so very, very few use the term in Japan today). One exception is perhaps Toshinori (Nenten) Tsubouchi, who has been encouraging the genre these past few years using Japanese language, partly under the stimulus of Hisashi Miyazaki, who in turn was influenced by SHG (Tito) and Ken Jones (both of Britain). At the head of all this sits Nobuyuki Yuasa, whose translations of Basho’s travel haibun (kikobun) and writings on the subject of haiku prose helped to transplant the Japanese tradition to the West. Haibun Contests like the Kikakuza and the Genjuan have been largely the brainchild of NY, too. David’s is not a very long article. If interested in haibun, perhaps you should take a look?


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