Japan Month Haiku Contest!

This year’s Japan Month will see the debut of a haiku contest!

Haiku in brief: Haiku is a Japanese form of short poetry, with three fundamental elements: three lines (with syllable counts of 5-7-5), a word that references a season, and a cutting word that unites two different ideas in the poem.

This year’s AniMatsuri is themed around music, so the topic of the first Japan Month haiku contest is: “Sound”! This may seem difficult – how do you present a sound in so few syllables?

No worries. Here is an example of a haiku from the great master Matsuo Basho (1654-1694) (in translation):


An old silent pond… (5)
A frog jumps into the pond, (7)
splash! Silence again. (5)


We are constantly surrounded by the sounds of everyday things. If you notice them, put your feelings into words, and work a little to count the syllables, you will have a haiku! It’s really not that difficult – just try it, and you might be surprised!

The rules of the haiku contest:

  • The syllable count in the three lines of the haiku must be 5-7-5;
  • The haiku must be in Estonian or English;
  • One haiku per person;
  • As this is an amateur competition, the seasonal reference is not mandatory.

To take part in the haiku contest, fill out this FORM.

The contest will be judged by a three-person panel. You can submit your haiku no later than September 15th, 2016.

The best haiku poets will be recognized and awarded at the AniMatsuri festival, taking place on September 24th-25th, 2016, in Tartu, Estonia. The submitted haikus will also be included in a PDF anthology that will be distributed for free, so that the presented works can be read later.

We are really looking forward to your haikus, and we wish you luck with finding your inspiration!