Japan-EU English Haiku Contest
(Guidelines for Submission)

April 1, 2010


2010 is a year of renewal for both Japan and the European Union (EU). Japan experienced a handover of political administration in September 2009. With the Treaty of Lisbon entering into force from December 2009, the EU is reforming its institutions and policies. In the coming 19th Japan-EU Summit leaders' meeting, leaders will discuss various issues in order to further strengthen Japan-EU relations.

Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry, with three metrical phrases. Haiku in English has been written by Europeans residing in Japan as early as the 18th century, and haiku poetry was introduced in several European countries during the 20th century. In the early 21st century there is a thriving community of haiku poets writing in several languages throughout the EU. The President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy enjoys haiku and is a notable haikuist.

Taking opportunity of the 19th Japan-EU Leaders' Summit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the European Union are pleased to launch the Japan-EU English Haiku Contest, as an opportunity to share haiku related to the theme of "Japan and Europe". The organizers hope that this contest will serve as an opportunity to encourage mutual understanding among people, to promote the interaction of people's views on Japan and the EU, as well as to convey the enjoyment of writing and reading English haiku.


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, the European Union


The Asahi Shimbun, Matsuyama City


Japan and Europe


Original, previously unpublished haiku referring to some aspect of Japan and Europe should be submitted in the English language. Keeping in mind that haiku is considered to be the shortest poem in the world, submitting haiku with a length of three lines is recommended (however, up to four lines or fewer than three are acceptable). Seasons words are not essential.

Limited number of entries:

Only one haiku may be submitted per haikuist.


The contest is open to the public of nationals of EU member states or Japan who are currently residing in the EU or Japan.


Please download the entry form (PDF , Word file) and submit it by email to: haikucontest@mofa.go.jp

If you cannot download the entry form, please send the following information by email to: haikucontest@mofa.go.jp

*Nationality(Country name)
Profession/school name
*one haiku
(Items with * must be filled completely.)


18 April 2010


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
The European Union
David McMurray, Asahi Shimbun English edition haiku columnist
Matsuyama City, Japan


A winner will be notified by email and announced at the occasion of a Joint Press Conference of the 19th Japan-EU Summit meeting to be held in Tokyo. The winner will be offered a round-trip* to Matsuyama City of Japan and a stay in a Japanese style hot spring hotel (in Dogo Onsen) associated with Haiku. Matsuyama City is considered to be the center of modern Haiku in Japan.

*If the winner resides in the EU, a round trip ticket from the capital city of the country where he/she reside to Matsuyama City (only JAL or ANA flight), and if the winner resides in Japan, a domestic round trip ticket to Matsuyama City, as well as a hotel coupon for a stay in Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama City will be offered. Further information will be notified directly from Matsuyama City to the winner.

Get Acrobat Reader (Open a New Window)

Back to Index