Toppage > Sokacity Soka Matsubara International Haiku Competition > The 2nd Oku-no-hosomichi Sōka Matsubara International Haiku Competition: submissions Invited

The 2nd Oku-no-hosomichi Sōka Matsubara International Haiku Competition: submissions Invited


What is the Oku-no-hosomichi Sōka Matsubara International Haiku Competition?

Sōka City is mentioned at the opening of the Oku-no-hosomichi (‘Narrow Road to the Far North’), the travel journal of the Haiku Master Matsuo Bashō, where he recorded, “This day we finally made it to the post town of Sōka,” leaving a historical record.
 The Oku no hosomichi Sōka Matsubara International Haiku Contest was held in 2019 to mark and honor the association with Bashō on the 330th anniversary of his journey, as well as to convey to the world at large some of the more traditional cultural aspects of Sōka, and to welcome the beginning of the new Reiwa imperial era.
 Submissions were invited in the following three categories: haiku in Japanese (adult section); haiku in Japanese (elementary, junior high and high school section); and haiku in foreign languages (French and English section).
 For haiku in Japanese, these could be either on a free or miscellaneous subject, or on the State Designated Scenic Views of either the Oku no hosomichi or Sōka Matsubara, using the words ‘Sōka Matsubara’ or ‘pine grove’ or ‘pine’. Alternatively, haiku can be submitted in French or English, employing the shortest poetic form in the world that has become popular now everywhere.
 The appeal of haiku is that it is something everyone can enjoy, without regard to age or nationality. We are happy to think that taking part in this haiku contest will give you the chance to learn about and connect with Sōka City, and we look forward to receiving many submissions.


What is Sōka Matsubara, a national scenic beauty spot of the Oku-no-hosomichi?

There is an historical legacy that pine trees were planted in Soka Matsubara, either at at the time of the opening of Soka-shuku (the post town) in 1630, or when the Ayase River was renovated in 1683.
After a long period of time, the number of pine trees was reduced to about 60 by the exhaust gas and vibration of automobiles in the 1970's, but in 1975 the city volunteers planted about 100 pines. The following year, the Preservation Society for the pine grove was established with the participation of 800 people from 35 organizations in the city.
After that, the care of old trees and the transplanting of young trees continued, and the number recovered to rows of more than 550 pine trees.
The planting has continued, and now the area is popular with many people as a scenic spot in the city, with some 634 pines.
On March 18, 2014, Soka Matsubara was designated as a national scenic beauty spot, as one of the 13 scenic spots in 10 prefectures related to Oku-no- hosomichi.

  • showa 8.


  • showa 42.


  • heisei 26.


Judges and Selectors

  • Hasegawa Kai (Haiku poet)
  • David Burleigh (Member of the Haiku International Association)

Foreign language haiku [ English and French ] Application Guidelines


  • free

Entry fees

  • None

Application period

  • July 16 (Friday) to September 17 (Friday) , 2021. (Japan standard time)


  • Submissions may only be made on the designated website form.


  • “Grand Prize”,
  • “Special Prize”
  • “Selector’s Special Selection“
    • “Outstanding Haiku“
    • "Honorable Mentions”   

Contest results

  • The results will be published on the homepage of Sōka City around the beginning of February 2022. 

Please note the following

  1. Each person may submit more than one entry using  the designated haiku form.
  2. Haiku submitted by means other than the designated form cannot be accepted.
  3.  Submissions must be limited to those of the entrant. Duplicated haiku, or any  haiku that are found to have been plagiarized, will be discarded.
  4.  Once submitted, entries cannot be corrected, altered, returned, or withdrawn.
  5. Selected entries, together with the name or pen-name of the entrant, and place of origin of the submission, will be recorded among the selections made, or announced to the media and on the City homepage.
  6. No enquiries about the selection results, or revisions to them, can be made.
  7. All rights to individual works will revert to the authors following the selection process and announcement or publication of the selection results.


  • 1-1-1 Takasago, Sōka City, Saitama Prefecture 340-8550
    Sōka City Hall Culture and Tourism Division.
  • Telephone: 048-922-2968
  • FAX: 048-922-3406
  • E-mail bunkakanko* (change * to @)


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