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All -Haiku Winner Presentation and Fille

Haiku Contest Awards 2022

Thank you so much for participating in our haiku contest!

We are astonished we received such a large number of submissions from all over the world.

We appreciate the judges, Michael Dylan Welch for haiku in English, and Hisao Mogi and Mitsuyo Sakai from Rainier Ginsha for haiku in Japanese, for taking the time to review and select the winning poems.


We received

  • 160 haiku poems in English, including 58 youth entries

  • 37 haiku poems in Japanese, including 18 youth entries

  • From 32 countries 



  • 英語俳句160句(うち子供の作品58句) 

  • 日本語俳句37句(うち子供の作品18句) 

  • 世界32か国より応募


1st Place

sap season
a runner stops
to check her pulse

Brad Bennett

Arlington, Massachusetts, USA

Judge's Remarks:

If it’s sap season, it must be autumn. A jogger stopping to check her pulse also seems to bring us as observers into a moment of checking our seasonal “pulse.” How is our year unfolding? As summer wanes into the fall, we come to an instant of deeper reflection, even assessment, in thinking about our lives. The poem’s arresting first line begins a series of breathless S sounds (continued with “stops” and “pulse”). Combined with the “er” of “runner” and “her,” this poem’s sounds create a pleasing music and rhythm, even a heartbeat.

2nd Place

warming her hands between my own—
fallen leaves

Julie Bloss Kelsey

Germantown, Maryland, USA

Judge's Remarks:

The air has chilled in the autumn season, but here two friends or lovers have ventured out to enjoy the colorful leaves of autumn. This is a shared moment of personal intimacy, with one person warming the other person’s cold hands. This warmth is not just physical but emotional too.

3rd Place

red signal—
a few moments
with cherry blossoms

Saumya Bansal

Agra, India

Judge's Remarks:

Most adults have had this experience when pausing their cars at a stop light. We might be temporarily impatient at having to wait, but the mind of the haiku poet finds solace in such idle moments, in this case appreciating beautiful blossoms. We might not have noticed them if it weren’t for that red light. Even the traffic light’s color echoes with the pink blossoms.

Adult Honorable Mentions

the cough
that doesn't go away autumn cloud

Richa Sharma


Judge's Remarks:

As our worldwide pandemic continues, it’s hard to read this poem without thinking of Covid-19 illnesses that more and more frequently have reached us or people we know. Not only is the cough not going away, but the pandemic itself remains persistent, continuing to loom like an autumn cloud.

Adult Honorable Mentions

harvest moon
the first line of my poem
on the page

Minal Sarosh

Gujarat, India

Judge's Remarks:

The moon is an autumn season word in the Japanese haiku tradition, so what haiku poet could not feel that their poem’s first line has been provided for them as soon as they see a harvest moon? We also wonder, what will the rest of our poem say? In this case it’s a poem about writing haiku itself—or perhaps a longer poem. And we can thank the moon for inspiring us.

Adult Honorable Mentions

beach day
the seagulls rise
with the drawbridge

David Grayson

Alameda, California

Judge's Remarks:

A summer moment—visiting the beach. Only when the drawbridge rises do the seagulls respond, their lazy day interrupted. This poem’s pleasing movement and vivid image captures a visit to the seaside. The rising bridge suggests the departure of both boats and cars, indicating that this summer getaway has come to an end.

Youth Honorable Mentions

summer’s end
last skipping stone
left in my pocket

Iasmina Butnarescu

Botosani, Romania

Judge's Remarks:

What a youthful joy to skip stones in summertime. But this time that perfect “skimmer” stone is pocketed, as if waiting for summer to return.

Youth Honorable Mentions

drawing class
the old calligraphy
of migrating birds    

Denisa Hritcu

Botosani, Romania

Judge's Remarks:

Nature and human behavior come together here, with the artist recording the flights of birds in a drawing class. This migration could be spring or autumn, but it feels more like autumn, perhaps because of the word “old,” which also suggests that the “calligraphy” of the birds predates any human art, a reminder that nature may be life’s highest art.

Youth Honorable Mentions

moving day
carving my name
on the old oak

Florin Panainte
Botosani, Romania

Judge's Remarks:

In a moment of nostalgia before leaving a treasured place, the poet takes the time to leave a record of their existence. It’s not just so future residents will know them, but so the poet will remember that place more deeply. It is indeed a “moving” day.

 Haiku in English 

 Haiku in Japanese 

1st Place - 特選1席


Mitsuharu Mano

Puyallup, WA, USA



2nd Place - 特選2席


Tatsuya Ii (井伊辰也)

Smyrna, Delaware, USA



秀作 - Adult Honorable Mentions

芽柳の 風をとらへる 軽さかな

Lada Vishtak

Seattle, Washington, USA



秀作  - Adult Honorable Mentions

子の笑い 翼果散るまで 上がりけり

Richard Tice

Kent, Washington, USA



秀作  - Adult Honorable Mentions

蝋梅や 母の笑顔の ふと浮かび

Keiko Kushigemachi

Torrance, California, USA



児童の句 - Youth Honorable Mentions

すぐそこと ずっと遠くが 麦の秋

Emily, age 12

Tokyo, Japan



児童の句 - Youth Honorable Mentions

兄ちゃんに 野いちごなげて どなられる

Naoki Ii (井伊直紀), age 11

Smyrna, Delaware, USA



児童の句 - Youth Honorable Mentions

春の山 素敵な色だ 行きたいな

Kay Yeager, age 11

Tokyo, Japan



児童の句 - Youth Honorable Mentions

母さんの りんごパイの香 ピアノまで

Takuya Ii (井伊拓也), age 12

Smyrna, Delaware, USA



Japanese Haiku Winners
Haiku in English

About the judges:

For haiku in English

Michael Dylan Welch is founder of National Haiku Writing Month and the Seabeck Haiku Getaway, cofounder of the Haiku North America conference and the American Haiku Archives, webmaster for Haiku Northwest (, and president of the Redmond Association of Spokenword. He was keynote speaker for the 2013 Haiku International Association conference in Tokyo and has been teaching haiku for thirty years. His haiku have won numerous prizes and have been translated into at least twenty languages. Michael’s website, devoted mostly to haiku, is

For haiku in Japanese

Rainier Ginsha (レニア吟社) is a Seattle-based Haiku club since 1934. Hisao Mogi (茂木ひさを) has been served as the president of Rainier Ginsha since 2012. He is also a photographer and submitting haiku to Hototogisu, the traditional haiku club founded by Kyoshi Takahama in 1897. Mitsuyo Sakai (酒井光代) has been a member of Tachibana Ginsha in California since 1998 and has been a member of the Rainier Ginsha since 2011. She is also an executive member (dojin) of the Haiku Society Dancho in her hometown, Aomori. A monument with her Haiku was built at the gateway of the Shirakami Mountains.  

Both judges are the authors of the monthly article “Kongetsu-no-kigo (seasonal word of the month)” on the community paper “Soy Source.”

Rainier Ginsha HP: 

about the judges
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