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Genjuan International Haibun Contest

The Genjuan International Haibun Contest was established in 2012 by Nobuyuki Yuasa and Stephen Henry Gill, who had been running and judging its predecessor, the Kikakuza International Haibun Contest, since 2009. The organization of the Genjuan Contest and publication of winning pieces in anthologies was soon taken over by the Hailstone Haiku Circle in Kansai and continues through 2020.


Genjuan (幻住庵) is the name of the cottage near Lake Biwa where, in 1690, Matsuo Bashō lived for a time. His residence in this “vision-inhabited cottage” was probably the happiest period of his life, and it was there that he wrote his most famous short haibun. The purpose of the Genjuan International Haibun Contest is to encourage the writing of fine haibun in English and maintain the connection between the traditional Japanese perception of haibun and what is evolving around the world.

Below are listed, most recent first, the results of the Genjuan and Kikakuza contests as well as links to Icebox, the Hailstone Haiku Circle’s website, where the texts of winning haibun and additional information can be found.

Genjuan International Haibun Contest, 2020

JudgesAkiko Takazawa, Stephen Henry Gill, and Sean O’Connor
Contest OfficerYaeno Azuchi
Number of entries97 from 18 countries
Contest results postedIcebox website
Grand Prix“Snow in Advent” by David Cobb, U.K.
An (Cottage) Prize (2)“Whispers” by David McCullough, Japan
“Key West Cat” by Joan Prefontaine, U.S.A.
Honourable Mention (7)“Jamshedpur” by Kanchan Chatterjee, India
“Visiting John” by Paul Bregazzi, Ireland
“Fifteen Minute Limit” by Naomi Beth Wakan, Canada
“The Penultimate Mile” by Geethanjali Rajan, India
“Nagaranishi” by Sydney Solis, Japan 
“The Easter of the Blajin” by Cezar-Florin Ciobîcă, Romania
 “Sunday Stopping Train to Salzburg” by Dick Pettit, Denmark

Genjuan International Haibun Contest, 2019

JudgesToru Kiuchi, Stephen Henry Gill, and Hisashi Miyazaki
Contest OfficerEiko Mori
Number of entries95 from 19 countries
Contest results postedIcebox website 
Grand Prix“Memories of a Coal-Miner’s Grandson” by Bryan D. Cook, Canada
An (Cottage) Prize (4)“Seeing in Darkness” by Branko Manojlović, Serbia/Japan
“Wigan Flash” by Judy Kendall, U.K.
“White Out” by Marcyn Del Clements , U.S.A.
“Come and See” by Sean O’Connor, Ireland 
Honourable Mention (5)“House of the Sun” by Jeff Doleman, U.S.A.
“An Aura” by Diana Webb, U.K.
“Food for Thought” by Ignatius Fay, Canada
“The Beggar near the Palma Cathedral” by Joan Prefontaine, U.S.A.
“Cherries” by Terry Ann Carter, Canada

Genjuan International Haibun Contest, 2018

Judges Nenten Tsubo’uchi, Stephen Henry Gill, Hisashi Miyazaki, and Angelee Deodhar
Contest Officer Eiko Mori
Number of entries 133 from 15 countries
Contest results posted Icebox website 
Grand Prix “The Forbidden Pet”  by Branko Manojlović, Serbia/Japan
An (Cottage) Prize (3) “Way of Lilies” by Marietta McGregor, Australia
  “Let there be Lightning” by Ignatius Fay, Canada
  “Waiting for Christmas in Ohio” by Chris Bays, U.S.A.
Honourable Mention (6) “Lost” by Sean O’Connor, Ireland
  “Brazilian Night” by Marina Bellini, Italy
  “Red, Blue, White” by Dru Philippou, U.S.A.
  “Coal Mines” by Beth A. Skala, Canada
  “Flying” by Pearl Elizabeth Dell May, U.K.
  “Reflections” by David McCullough, Japan

Genjuan International Haibun Contest, 2017

Judges Nenten Tsubo’uchi, Stephen Henry Gill, Hisashi Miyazaki, and Ellis Avery
Contest Officer Eiko Mori
Number of entries 89 from 15 countries
Contest results posted Icebox website 
Grand Prix “Season of Snow and Milk” by Doris Lynch, U.S.A.
An (Cottage) Prize (4) “Trespass” by David McCullough, Japan
  “Feathers” by John Parsons, U.K.
  “Soldier’s Woundwort” by Dimitar Anakiev, Slovenia
  “What’s in a Name” by Jim Norton, Ireland
Honourable Mention (5) “Getaways” by Dru Philippou, U.S.A.
  “Fathomless Ocean” by Gabriel Rosenstock, Ireland
  “M PATHY” by Dorothy Mahoney, Canada
  “The Baker’s Insomnia” Phillippa Yaa de Villiers, South Africa
  “Nesting Bowls” Beth Skala, Canada

Genjuan International Haibun Contest, 2016

Judges Nenten Tsubo’uchi, Stephen Henry Gill, and Hisashi Miyazaki
Contest Officer Eiko Mori
Number of entries 127 from 16 countries
Contest results posted Icebox website 
Grand Prix “A Small Act” by Diana Webb, U.K.
An (Cottage) Prize (3) “What’s in a Name?” by Ignatius Fay, Canada
  “The Great South Gate” by Matthew Caretti, U.S.A.
  “Arm in Arm with Iza” by Maria Tirenescu, Romania
Honourable Mention (5) “Love Story” by Anita Curran Guenin, U.S.A.
  “Majesty” by Geethanjali Rajan, India
  “A Spectacle” by Branko Manojlović, Serbia/Japan
  “One Grain of Sand” by Mel Goldberg, Mexico
  “Geronimo” by Terri L. French, U.S.A.

Genjuan International Haibun Contest, 2015

Judges Nenten Tsubo’uchi, Stephen Henry Gill, and Hisashi Miyazaki
Contest Officer Eiko Mori
Number of entries 106 from 15 countries
Contest results posted Icebox website 
Grand Prix “Mining Memories” by Sonam Chhoki, Bhutan
An (Cottage) Prize (3) “Inupiat Lessons” by Doris Lynch, U.S.A.
  “A Cycle Ride” by Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy, India/U.K.
  “Cattle Dreaming” by Barbara A. Taylor, Australia
Honourable Mention (5) “In Country” by Carol Pearce-Worthington, U.S.A.
  “New Year’s Eve, 12/31/2014” by Earl R. Keener, U.S.A.
  “The Visitant” by Barbara Strang, New Zealand
  “My Husband’s Croissants” by Margaret Chula, U.S.A.
  “Learning English” by Dru Philippou, U.S.A.

Genjuan International Haibun Contest, 2014

Judges Nobuyuki Yuasa, Stephen Henry Gill, and Hisashi Miyazaki
Contest Officer Eiko Mori
Number of entries 83 haibun from 14 countries
Contest results posted Icebox website 
Grand Prix “Well of Beauty” by Margaret Chula, U.S.A.
An (Cottage) Prize (3) “The Bardo of Justice” by Sonam Chhoki, Bhutan
  “Caged Birds” by Margaret Dornaus, U.S.A.
  “Uncle Walter” by John Parsons, U.K.
Honourable Mention (6) “There Are Two Moons” by David McCullough, Japan
  “The Meeting” by Geethanjali Rajan, India
  “Prime Meridian” by John Kinory, U.K.
  “Independent Dog” by Daniela Kuzmanova, Bulgaria
  “New Beginnings” by Barbara A. Taylor, Australia
  “Renunciation” by Matthew Caretti, U.S.A.

Genjuan International Haibun Contest, 2013

Judges Nobuyuki Yuasa and Stephen Henry Gill
Contest Officer Motoko Yoshioka
Number of entries 73 from 9 countries
Contest results posted Icebox website 
Grand Prix “Towards Burry Holms” by Jane Fraser, U.K
An (Cottage) Prize (2) “Happening on Honington” by David Cobb, U.K.
  “Night Dancing in Star Holler” by Doris Lynch, U.S.A.
Honourable Mention (7) “The Suspended Coffins of Bo” by Patricia Prime, New Zealand
  “The Stick” by John Parsons, U.K.
  “Tree of Life” by Diana Webb, U.K.
  “The Monk of Amida-ji Temple” by Margaret Chula, U.S.A.
  “Pelion” by Branko Manojlović, Japan
  “Pillars of Heaven” Bruce Ross, U.S.A.
  “In the Fog” by Maya Lyubenova, Bulgaria 

Genjuan International Haibun Contest, 2012

JudgesNobuyuki Yuasa, Stephen Henry Gill
Contest OfficerMotoko Yoshioka
Number of entries95 from 14 countries
Contest results postedIcebox website
Grand Prix“Jackdaws” by D J Peel (Takenoko), U.K.
An (Cottage) Prize (3)“The Blue Jacaranda” by Kala Ramesh, India
“Crime and Punishment” by Cara Holman, U.S.A.
“Yeh Go I” by James Norton, Ireland
Honourable Mention (5)“Kite in August” by Carol Pearce, U.S.A.
“Gandolph and Merlin” by Pearl Elizabeth Dell May, U.K.
“The Unstrung Guitar” by Patricia Prime, New Zealand
“Timeline” by Roberta Beary, U.S.A.
“Mind Unfound” by Sonam Chhoki, Bhutan

In 2012 the Kikakuza contest was ended and replaced by the Genjuan International Haibun Contest under new sponsorship.

Kikakuza International Haibun Contest 2011

Judges Nobuyuki Yuasa and Stephen Henry Gill
Contest Officer Motoko Yoshioka
Number of entries 85 from 15 countries
Contest Officer Motoko Yoshioka
Contest results posted Icebox website 
Grand Prix “Memories of the Sun” by Melissa Spurr, U.S.A.
Za (Circle) Prize Highly Commended (3) “Ladle” by Earl R. Keener, U.S.A.
  “Last Journey” by Sonam Chhoki, Bhutan
  “Remembrance of a Time to Come” Moira Richards, South Africa
Honourable Mention (7) “Strange Bedfellows” by Margaret Chula, U.S.A.
  “Kayo” by Toshi Ida, Japan
  “Return Home” by John Parsons, U.K.
  “Coal Dust” by Patricia Prime, New Zealand
  “Hill Country”  by Peter Newton, U.S.A.
  “I Sigh, through All my Smiling, at Thought of Long Ago” by Gael R. Bage, U.K.
  “Winter Subway” by Ellis Avery, U.S.A.

Kikakuza International Haibun Contest 2010

Judges Nobuyuki Yuasa and Stephen Henry Gill
Contest Officer Motoko Yoshioka
Number of entries 35 from 10 countries
Contest results posted Icebox website 
Grand Prix No award. Judge Stephen Gill reported, “Nobuyuki and I decided not to award a Grand Prix this year as, fine though many of the entries were, we felt we could not find a truly outstanding piece. The endings especially seemed, more often than not, unsatisfactory.”
Highly Commended “Night Fishing with Daddy” by Philippa Yaa de Villiers, South Africa
  “the godless month” by Jim Kacian, U.S.A.
Honourable Mention (6) “Not Knowing Names of Them” by Stanley Pelter, U.K.
  “London à la Japonais” by Diana Webb, U.K.
  “Silver Little Reed” by Clelia Ifrim, Romania
  “Home Sweet Home” by Barbara A Taylor, Australia
  “After a Night of Cold Rain” by Ella Rutlege, Japan
  “Psyche” by Angelee Deodhar, India

Kikakuza International Haibun Contest 2009

Judges Nobuyuki Yuasa and Stephen Henry Gill
Contest Officer Motoko Yoshioka
Number of entries 90 from 17 countries
Contest results posted Icebox website 
Grand Prix “For Rose” by John Parsons, U.K.
Highly Commended (3) “Close Encounters” by Bamboo Shoot (D J Peel), U.K.
  “As if It Does So Just for Me” by Barbara A Taylor, Australia
  Untitled haibun by Ion Codrescu, Romania
Honourable Mention (6) “Last Wish” by Jo Pacsoo, U.K.
  “April Gusts” by Luce Pelletier, Canada
  Untitled haibun by Valeria Simonova-Cecon, Italy
  “Wanting” by Philippa Yaa de Villiers, South Africa
  “The Ark” by Angelee Deodhar, India
  Untitled haibun by Zinovy Y. Vayman, U.S.A.

Compiled by: Stephen Henry Gill


SOURCES/FURTHER READING (PRINT)

  • Gill, Stephen Henry, comp. From the Cottage of Visions — Genjuan Haibun Contest: Decorated Works 2015–2017. Osaka: Hailstone Haiku Circle Publications, 2018.
  • Mittelholtz, Ruth. “Stephen Henry Gill, comp. From the Cottage of Visions: Genjuan Haibun Contest: Decorated Works 2015–2017.” Haiku Canada Review 13:1 (2019), 59–63. Review
  • Yuasa, Nobuyuki, and Stephen Henry Gill, comp. Genjuan Haibun Contest: Decorated Works 2012–2014. Osaka: Hailstone Haiku Circle Publications, 2015.
  • Yuasa, Nobuyuki, and Stephen Henry Gill, comp. Kikakuza Haibun Contest: Decorated Works 2009–2011. Tokyo: Book Works Hibiki, 2011.
  • Zimmerman, J., ”Nobuyuki Yuasa and Stephen Henry Gill, Genjuan Haibun Contest: Decorated Works 2012–2014.” Frogpond 38:3 (2015), 105–09. Review. Available online at the Frogpond website.

SOURCES/FURTHER READING (ONLINE)

Updated on August 7, 2020