Haiga, Haibun and Haiku in the Time of Coronavirus

My plan to return to Japan this month has been postponed due to the coronavirus. I was all set to return for three months – one in Kyoto for the Lafcadio Hearn April 22-25 and then Tokyo for a month to be with kamishibai friends before back for another month in Kansai.

How quickly the world changes! Naturally this financial collapse I have been preparing for my entire life… but that’s another story. Now let’s talk Haiga, Haibun and Haiku in this Time of the Coronavirus. Naturally introverted me loves this time indoors to write! The world finally has slowed down!

I had entered haiku and other poetry contests this year, so I’m happy to announce that I won two haiku contests I entered in Japan.

My second place winning haiku judged by Romanian Artist Ion Codrescu, who made the haiku into the above haiga.



I won an honorable mention in the Genguin International Haibun competition in Kyoto. A haibun is a mixture of prose and haiku poetry. It’s become my favorite way of writing now, as my prose is already always poetic.


In February, I won second place for a Haiku in the Lafcadio Hearn English Haiku Competition. It was made into a Haiga, a painting made to accompany a haiku, by Romanian Artist Ion Codrescu, who judged the competition. He was going to give a talk and appearance, however, he, too, had to postpone the trip.


This and other winning haiku that Mr. Codrescu made into Haiga for the competition, as well those of special guest artists from around the world, will be on display in Kyoto, Japan this April 22-25 at the Kyoto International House for the 2020 Lafcadio Hearn 170th Anniversary Exhibition. I want to express my deep gratitude to Mr. Codrescu for his work, Masashi Nakamura and the Research Center for Japanese Culture Structural Studies 日本文化構造学研究会 for the competition, and to my Haiku teacher Stephen Gill whose English haiku classes at Senri-Chuo I miss very much to this day.

My sincerest congratulations to all the winners! Naturally I am unable to travel to Japan for three months as planned this April due to the coronavirus. As disappointed as I am, I am reminded through this effort that we are all globally linked regardless with the peace, joy and pleasure of art, and the writing and sharing of haiku.

Here’s to the possibility of a virtual exhibition for those who are housebound around the world!どうもありがとうございましたSpecial Guests display at the exhibition include: Ms Kazumi Wilds book, the KOJIKI and Illustration works.Mr. Everett Kennedy Brown, Photography in IzumoMs フリント サト クリスティーン (Christine Flint Sato)) with Mr. Manny Ling : Sumi-e and Calligraphy about poet Basho Ms Rona Conti : Calligraphy Hanging ScrollsMs Patricia Larkin Green: Calligraphy, Sumi-e Ms Catherine Cousins and Ms Sydney SolisKAMISHIBAI, and Haiku Haiga works Ms Maria Papatzelou : Inner Connections ARTS and Mythical haiku Book, Prize HAIGA for Ms Athina Meli, Ms. Helene Marie Thian and Ms Maritza M. Mejia.

“Haiga is a complex work of art, a simultaneous and complementary interaction of haiku text (linguistic signs) and painted image (iconic signs) transporting in juxtaposition their deeper meanings, added, however, by calligraphy and seals as visual supporters. It is Mr. Codrescu’s personal way of opening up a real range of interpretation by a specifically dynamic process.”


Another Haiku Contest!


There is another haiku contest to enter: Buddha Haiku! I have some I wrote and will be submitting. You can too!


Call For Buddha Haiku Submissions

We are looking for contemporary haiku, published or unpublished, which are Buddha-themed, haiku which may or may not mention the Buddha specifically, but which are infused with the spirit of Buddhism, Zen Buddhism or any other school of Buddhism such as Pure Land Buddhism, Celtic Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism and so on.

The meditative spirit is universal and Buddhist self-effacement and egolessness can be found in other traditions as well, such as Daoist, Christian, Sufi etc.


Haiku that are influenced by Buddhist-like teachings and practices will also be considered. Maximum of 6 haiku to be submitted to the editors before Buddha’s birthday, May 8th and a brief biography, not more than 200 words. English translations required of haiku submitted in languages other than English. Please kindly share the Call for Submissions with like-minded haijin.


Book Title & Other Details THE AWAKENED ONE The Buddha in Contemporary Haiku: a pocket anthology edited by Adjei Agyei-Baah consulting editor Gabriel Rosenstock


Payment: One copy of the anthology. Copyright remains with the author. Submission guideSent a maximum of 6 haiku before May 8, 2020 to both kwakubaaa@gmail.com and grosenstock04@gmail.com

, the email addresses of Adjei Agyei-Baah (editor) and Gabriel Rosenstock (consulting editor) respectively. Also those who might want to consider snail or postal mail may send to:
Adjei Agyei-Baah C/o Michael Bosu7 Rehua Drive Ngaruawahia 3288 Hamilton, Waikato New Zealand

3 thoughts on “Haiga, Haibun and Haiku in the Time of Coronavirus

  1. Bonjour Sydney-sun, Thank you for your information about your recent life with Haiku and so on.It’s amazing you are interested in many areas of Japanese culture, whichis much more than what we average Japanese know. I like Haiku but prefer Senryu as I can use it in my Rakugo in Japanese.Anyway I did not know about English Haiku.If possible please let me know some of your Haiku works and the regulationsto make English Haiku. It will be fun if I can introduce some English Haiku in my English Rakugo.Youen 

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    • Konnichiwa Youen-san! Thank you for your comment! Haiku would be great for Rakugo, or I’m sure a funny story can emerge around it! How I miss Japan and all my friends, like YOU! I meditate each day to align and pray for peace and planetary healing! Japan is so wonderful in these areas for peace, tranquility of mind and nature! To learn about Haiku in English, I recommend visiting the Icebox, which is the Hailstone Haiku Circle in Kyoto that Stephen Gill runs. https://hailhaiku.wordpress.com/. Maybe he will offer something online!!!! Best wishes, Sydney

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  2. Pingback: Haiga and Haiku Exhibition in Kyoto: 170th Anniversary of Lafcadio Hearn’s Birth | Sydney In Osaka

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