International Photo-Haiku Contest
Currently accepting

A new culture is blossoming in Matsuyama, the city for haiku and the birthplace of Shiki Masaoka.

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Outline of Photo-Haiku Contest

Application period Until January 9th, 2017
Submissions Haiku in Japanese on a theme of your choice, haiku in Japanese on a set theme, haiku in English on a theme of your choice, haiku in English on a set theme
Judges • Haiku in Japanese
Seiichi Morimura (Writer and photo-haiku advocate), Itsuki Natsui (Haiku poet), Changhee Kim (Editor of haiku magazine "100-Year Haiku Plan), Akiko Yamaguchi (Haiku editor)
• Haiku in English
David McMurray (International haiku poet)
How to apply Fill in the application form on the website, and submit your photo-haiku.
Where to apply Web submission for all categories
Haiku in English of either type are not accepted by post, and can only be submitted on the website.
Categories • Haiku in Japanese on a theme of your choice
• Haiku in English on a theme of your choice
   A haiku and a photo must be submitted together. The haiku or photo should be associated with the
   theme of "the sea".

• Haiku in Japanese on a set theme
• Haiku in English on a set theme
   Submit a haiku in Japanese or English related to the photo themes 1 to 8

If you have any questions please contact Matsuyama Haiku office

Haiku in English on a theme of your choice

The Photo Themes for 6th Contest

Theme1The battleship Mikasa, Mikasa Park (Yokosuka, Kanagawa)
The theme of the park is water, light and sound. Here you can experience art and history directly. The battleship Mikasa is preserved in the park. The naval strategist Saneyuki Akiyama, who was born in Matsuyama, served on the ship. 2018 will mark the 150th anniversary of Akiyama's birth. Matsuyama and Yokosuka, have concluded agreements on tourism exchanges and mutual support during disasters.
Theme2Zenkoku-ji Temple (Bishamon-ten) (Shinjuku, Tōkyō)
Sōseki Natsume was born, raised and ended his life in Shinjuku. Zenkoku-ji Temple is nicknamed Bishamon-sama, and the novel Botchan includes the following description"; I caught a carp about eight inches long at a festival at Bishamon on Kagurazaka. Just as I was coaxing it out of the water, it splashed back in." Matsuyama and Shinjuku have concluded an agreement on historical, cultural and tourist exchanges. Matsuyama and Tokyo University of Science have concluded an agreement on cultural exchanges and scientific cooperation, based on their links to Sōseki Natsume's novel Botchan.
Theme3St. John's Church in the Meiji Mura Museum (Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture)
Over 60 buildings from the Meiji period have been moved for conservation and display to an outdoor museum. You can ride a steam train and Kyoto tram that operated in the Meiji period, try food and clothing from that time, and visit the locations where dramas and movies were filmed. Matsuyama and the Meiji Mura Museum have concluded an agreement to jointly promote the culture and values of the Meiji period.
Theme4Sunset at Hōki-ji Temple (Ikaruga-chō, Nara Prefecture)
One of Shiki Masaoka's representative haiku", the temple bell rings as I eat a persimmon ‒ Hōryū-ji" was composed at Ikaruga-chō. There's a monument carved with the haiku at Hōryū-ji Temple built by Shōtoku Taishi, the 1,400-years anniversary of whose death will fall in 2021. Matsuyama and Ikaruga-chō have concluded an agreement on tourism and cultural exchanges based on their links to Shiki Masaoka and Shōtoku Taishi.
Theme5The Japan Three-Day March (Higashimatsuyama, Saitama Prefecture)
Every November, Japan's leading walking event is held in the Hikikyūryō hills. Each year, over 80,000 participants gather from every part of Japan and the world to enjoy nature, companionship and the welcome of the volunteer staff. Matsuyama and Higashimatsuyama have concluded an agreement on tourism and cultural exchanges based on their similar names.
Theme6Floating lanterns in front the Atomic Bomb Dome (Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture)
2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the listing of the Atomic Bomb Dome as UNESCO world heritage sites, and it was also the year when President Obama of the United States made his historic visit to the Peace Memorial Park and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Matsuyama and the Hiroshima area (Hiroshima, Hatsukaichi, and Kure) are combining their tourist resources to maximize the appeal of the Seto Inland Sea as a new tourist destination.
Theme7Night view from the keep of Matsuyama Castle (Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture)
Matsuyama Castle, the symbol of Matsuyama, is a huge flatland-mountain castle with its main enclosure on the summit of a 132 m hill and its two outer enclosures on the flat. It's an impregnable castle built by Yoshiaki Kato who fought in the battle of Shizugatake and became one of Hideyoshi's seven most trusted and experienced generals. The castle is one of 12 in Japan surviving from the Edo period. Said to be the pinnacle of fortress construction, it has maze-like defenses and interconnected castle towers.
Theme8Honmyo-ji Temple lanterns (Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefecture)
Kumamoto Castle, the symbol of the city, suffered extensive damage in the Kumamoto Earthquake in 2016. Kumamoto City and its citizens are working flat out to restore Kumamoto. Honmyo-ji Temple was the family temple of Kiyomasa Kato who built Kumamoto Castle. Each year in late March, the approach to the temple is lined with thousands of traditional paper lanterns which the citizens make by hand. In 2012, Matsuyama and Kumamoto concluded an agreement on mutual support during disasters, based on their shared links with Sōseki Natsume.

Web entry

Notes for applications

Copyright of submitted works will belong to the organizers. (The winning works will be shown in print and on websites.)

Haiku in English on a set theme

  1. Submit only a haiku related to the photo themes.
  2. Each applicant may submit one work related to a particular photograph. (There are eight photo themes, and you may submit one haiku for each.)
  3. Submissions must be previously unpublished haiku made by the applicant.
  4. Be sure not to mistake the numbers of the photographs

Personal information policy

Personal information submitted by applicants will be used for selecting winners, making contact and sending prizes. It will not be used for any other purposes not agreed by the applicant. Nor will it be disclosed to third parties without permission. After informing the winners, we will publish the name of the author (pen-name or real name), country and municipality. *If the rules for application are deemed to have been infringed, the award may be cancelled and the haiku may not be published at the organizer's discretion.

Announcement and prizes

Winners will be informed by phone or email between March 1st to 10th, 2017.An award ceremony and international photo-haiku event attended by the judges will be held at the Shiki Memorial Museum in Matsuyama, Ehime on March 18th, 2017. Prize-winners will be announced from April 3rd, 2017 on the contest website.


  1. Haiku in Japanese on a theme of your choice: Grand Prix 1 winner - ¥30,000 in gift vouchers.
    Award for excellence: 2 winners - ¥3,000 in gift vouchers.
  2. Haiku in English on a theme of your choice: Grand Prix 1 winner - ¥30,000 in gift vouchers.
    Award for excellence: 2 winners - ¥3,000 in gift vouchers.
  3. Haiku in Japanese on a set theme: Grand Prix 1 winner - ¥10,000 in gift vouchers.
    Award for excellence: 2 winners - ¥3,000 in gift vouchers.
  4. Haiku in English on a set theme: Grand Prix 1 winner - ¥10,000 in gift vouchers.
    Award for excellence: 2 winners - ¥3,000 in gift vouchers.


Asahi Culture Center, Setouchi Matsuyama Photo-Haiku Office
Tel: 06-6222-5224 (except Sundays 10:00 to 18:00)
18F, Festival Tower, 2-3-18 Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0005

Guidelines for English haiku submitted to the Setouchi Matsuyama International Photo-Haiku Contest

  1. When applying, provide your name (real name), country, municipality, phone number and email address. If this information is illegible, the submission will be excluded from judgement.
  2. If the winner cannot be contacted in person by phone or email, the award will be cancelled. (This is a measure to prevent the same person improperly submitting several applications using assumed names.)

Organizer: Matsuyama Haiku International Promotion Committee, Matsuyama, Asahi Culture Center, Asahi Shimbun Company

The Process of Composing Your Own Haiku By David McMurray

Rules for haiku in English

  1. Three lines
  2. With or without a season word
  3. No fixed number of syllables

Haiku Box 365

A website run by Matsuyama City for submitting your haiku poems. A new theme is presented every other week.

Haiku Box 365

International Photo-Haiku Festival event production and supervision: Professor Ruth Vergin, Ehime University