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Haiku Contest is Open to Anyone Anywhere!

We are pleased to announce its first-ever community haiku contest. We welcome your haiku submissions in English or Japanese.


Deadline for submissions is June 14th, 2021 (US Pacific Time)

Thanks for many haiku submissions!

Stay tuned for the winner announcement during the Live Stream on June 26th!


Winning haiku and honorable mentions will be selected for haiku in English and Japanese and will be displayed on the festival website. We are grateful to our sponsors for providing prizes, which will be announced soon. Please note that some prizes may not be available for winners outside the United States, due to geographical limitations.

How to submit:

  • Submit online by clicking the link > haiku in English / haiku in Japanese

  • You may submit up to two haiku, in English or Japanese.

  • All poems must be original, written by you, and not previously published.

  • The poems do not need to be 5-7-5 syllables in English, but please try to include a seasonal reference (for example, snow to suggest winter or tulips to suggest spring).

  • Submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m., June 14, 2021 (US Pacific Time)


Haiku in English will be judged by Michael Dylan Welch. Haiku in Japanese will be judged by Hisao Mogi and members of Rainier Ginsha. (Please see "About the judges" below for more info.)

Winners will be announced on the Japan Fair website and our Main Live Streaming site on June 26, 2021.

What is haiku?:

Haiku is a short poem from Japan that captures a moment of personal experience set in one of the four seasons. In English, haiku usually appear in three lines in a short-long-short pattern. Some people count 5-7-5 syllables, but that is not required. Instead, it’s more important to include a seasonal reference and to give the poem two parts. For example, here is a poem by Issa:

yuki tokete mura ippai no kodomo kana
snow melting . . .
the village is flooded
with children

Melting snow tells us it’s spring, and the last two lines are one “part” that is grammatically separate from the first line. Above all, don’t write about your feelings—instead, write about what caused your feelings. For more information, please see Becoming a Haiku Poet.

About the judges:

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

Rainier Ginsha is a Seattle-based Haiku club since 1934. Hisao Mogi 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 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. Mitsuko Nakata joined Rainier Ginsha in 2008. All the 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: 

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