Mukai Farm & Gardens’ display of its annual haiku contest will remain on view through June (Jim Diers Photo).

Mukai Farm & Gardens’ display of its annual haiku contest will remain on view through June (Jim Diers Photo).

Haikus Still Blooming at Mukai; With Winners Announced

All haiku entries can be seen at and on outdoor display through June.

This year’s second annual Mukai Farm & Garden Haiku Festival on Vashon Island drew nearly 400 entries, mostly from Vashon Island but also from as far away as Poland and Croatia.

“We are very awed and grateful for the number and quality of haiku poems that came to us from throughout the world,” said Rita Brogan, President of Friends of Mukai.

Haiku were submitted in four major categories: Heritage, Nature, Social Justice and Young Poet, and reviewed by a panel of four judges: Mayumi Tsutakawa; Dr. Lawrence Matsuda, Michael Feinstein and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma.

“The joy of judging this competition is seeing hundreds of people from age five to 100, try, and often succeed, in distilling a thought or life lesson into such a tiny and strict form,” said Feinstein.

Mukai’s 2021 Haiku Festival Jury selected the following winning haiku:

Heritage Category: Cynthia Hernandez (Shoreline) First Place; Bruce Haulman (Vashon) Honorable Mention

Nature Category: Anne Spiers (Vashon) First Place; Robert Fuerstenberg (Vashon) Honorable Mention

Social Justice: Adi Shepard (Seattle) First Place; Sebastian Chrobak (Poland) Honorable Mention

Young Poet: Ella Odegaard (Vashon) First Place; Juno Leonard (Vashon) Honorable Mention

People’s Choice: Tomosumi (Bellevue)

All haiku entries can be seen at and on outdoor display throughout the Mukai Farm & Garden complex through the month of June.

First Place Haikus include:


my ancestors’ dreams

bloom in me, a blossom tree

with deep roots and reach

— Cynthia Hernandez


More snow erases

the careful calligraphy

of windfall on ice.

— Anne Spiers

The People’s Choice Award

sand-covered barracks

the tower guard witnesses

racial injustice

— Tomosumi

Social Justice

On the ground, Gasping

for fresh air, Praying to live

His skin becomes cold.

— Adi Shepard

Young Poet

I love beginnings

a chick named Jesse Owens

going places fast

— Ella Ødegaard

Mukai Farm & Garden is being restored and managed by the Friends of Mukai to celebrate Vashon’s Japanese American and agricultural heritage, and the greater Asian American Pacific Islander communities. Mukai shows how history lives and is relevant to our lives today. For more information, visit

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