During April 2020, the Mukai Farm & Garden on Vashon Island will sponsor its first Haiku Festival, complete with a juried competition for people of all ages to submit haiku poems to compete in several categories.
The competition will give prizes including a heritage award, a people’s choice award, an award for the most humorous haiku and a young poet’s award for young children and young adults.
Haiku is a type of poem, with three lines and strict rules — the first line must have five syllables, the second must have seven syllables, and the third line must have five syllables.
Matsuo Basho, Japan’s most famous poet, described haiku as, “Simply what is happening in this place at this moment.”
“During these times of corona virus-induced uncertainly, we at Mukai wanted to find a way for our community to continue to create together,” said Rita Brogan, President of the Mukai Farm & Garden Board.
Vashon’s Mukai Farm & Garden is a place that nurtures awareness of Asian-Pacific culture and history. The former strawberry farm has been listed on the National Registry of Historic Places as one of the few surviving Japanese farmsteads in the US.
“In many ways, the Mukai property embodies the Japanese experience in America, “said Brogan.
The deadline for entries is April 30. Entries must be submitted online at mukaifarmandgarden.org, where islanders can also read more about the Garden’s plans to publish and display the poems.
Winners will be notified on May 10. All entries must follow the haiku convention of 17 syllables. Please include the name, contact information and age (optional) of the author.
Haiku participants are encouraged to join Friends of Mukai.