NZJS Haiku & Shodo competition

2016 Haiku Shodo Competition Report

For the High School Student Haiku Shodo Competition this year (2016), we received a total of 74 entries from seven schools. The number of works is similar to last year but fewer than previous years; however there is a clear improvement in the quality of calligraphy skills and haiku composition, conveying the increasing motivation and interest of students.

The prize-giving ceremony was held at the community event “Fukuoka Day”, which was a celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Sister City relationship between Auckland and Fukuoka Cities. The prizes were presented to the winners by the Consul-General of Japan in Auckland Mr. Yokoyama, Mayor of Fukuoka City Mr. Takashima, Mrs. Waller from Auckland University of Technology and Mrs. Morris, President of Sister Cities New Zealand. All of students’ submitted works were displayed at “Fukuoka Day”, which attracted many visitors – both Japanese and non-Japanese.

As we have done in the past years, we asked the Japanese teachers at Auckland University of Technology to shortlist a number of works based on the haiku and calligraphy. Short listed students were then interviewed by NZJS Council members and University of Auckland Lecturer Ms. Mori. The final decision of winners and prizes was made based on their performance at the interview and the quality of their works. The interview is a crucial part of the selection process as the students who receive the Sister City Award and the NZJS Award are able to go to Japan for a one week home-stay programme, and it is important to make sure the chosen students are someone who will value the opportunity and make the most of it.

Winners and Their Haiku

Sister City Award: Kim Magtibay, Rosmini College

わかりあう 違う文化の はしたてる

NZJS Award: Tessa Brown, Mt. Roskill Grammar School

友情の 風が嵐を しずめさす

AUT Award: Kevin Shen, Macleans College

空と海 心をつなぐ 絆色

Japan Foundation Award: Jonathan Shaw, Macleans College

古酒のように 長年よくなる 友情は

The following prizes were given to the winners:

Sister City Award: a return economy air ticket to Japan and one-week homestay

NZJS Award: a return economy air ticket to Japan and one week homestay

AUT Award: A book voucher

Japan Foundation Award: A book voucher

Kim Magtibay and Tessa Brown have been selected to go to Japan for the one-week home-stay. The home-stays will be in Fukuoka, organised by Fukuoka City Council. Exact dates are being confirmed at the moment as we communicate with the students and Fukuoka City Council to finalise details. Both students will be required to submit a written report on their home-stay programme upon return, and the reports will be posted on the NZJS website.

NZJS Haiku & Shodo competition 2016

Our Haiku & Shodo competition aims to provide an opportunity for learners of Japanese language to express their thoughts and feelings in a Japanese Haiku poem and to experience the traditional Japanese art of calligraphy. Entry is open to high school students between year 10 and 13 who are studying Japanese at schools. It is also open to students who are studying Japanese as part of their home school curriculum throughout New Zealand (non-native speakers of Japanese).

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of our sister cities relationship with Fukuoka city, the theme of this year’s Haiku & Shodo competition is “友好 (friendship)”. Participants are invited to compose a poem related to the theme. Participants are required to compose a Haiku poem in Japanese, in the form of 3 lines consisting of 5, 7 and 5 syllables (one syllable typically correspondsto one Japanese Hiragana character), and write it on a long strip of paper vertically with a writing brush (hude) and ink (sumi). Half size of hanshi (Japanese paper for calligraphy) is recommended to be used. The participant’s name must be written in Japanese Katakana at the left side bottom corner.

Haiku poems will be judged based on the content (creativity and interest), the use of Japanese language (expressions and accuracy), and the writing of the poem in calligraphy. Winners will be selected by the Japanese language teachers at the School of Languages and Culture, AUT. The judges’ decision will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

Prizes will be sponsored by the Japan Foundation ( and the Fukuoka city council and other sponsors. The shortlisted participants will be interviewed by the NZJS council members both in Japanese and in English. The selected overall winner (comprising Haiku, calligraphy and interview) will be able to participate in a one-week home-stay programme in Japan( date to be confirmed). The prize-giving will be held (to be confirmed) and students’ haiku will be displayed at the Town hall, concert chamber on September 3rd 2016 at “Fukuoka Day”.

The Haiku poem must be sent to the following address, and the application forms must be emailed to Both the haiku poem and the application form must be sent NO LATER than Friday, 29th July 2016.

Haiku & Shodo Competition

The NZ Japan Society of Auckland

P.O.BOX 74063, Greenlane, AUCKLAND 1546 

Application Form for NZJS Haiku & Shodo competition 2016


– This competition is only open to non-native speakers of Japanese

– Entries must be the writer’s original work, which has not been previously published.

– Any entries received after the due date will not be accepted.

– Copyright for all entries passes to the New Zealand Japan Society of Auckland. (Entries will not be returned).

– Transportation fee for the final interview for non-Auckland entrants may be partly subsidized.

A visiting visa to Japan must be obtained by the winner if necessary.

For further information or inquiry please contact:

Michiyo Mori/ Fumiko Goodhue


Winners’ Reports

The winner’s report 2016 – Denbigh Kirkbeck
The winner’s report 2015 – Nain Alfante
The winner’s report 2014 – Edward Popham
The winner’s report 2013 – Andrew Saunders