Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
Haiku Banners

      Translated by Emiko Miyashita and Michael Dylan Welch

The following translations were provided for a set of haiku banners installed at the Sakura Days 
Japan Fair as part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival in April of 2011. White banners featured English-language haiku, and blue banners featured our Japanese translations, with poems selected from various VCBF Haiku Invitational contests. These banners were designed by Jane Durante and installed at VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, British Columbia. Photographs taken on the weekend of April 2 and 3, 2011. The opening paragraph is from the installation poster, which is also shown below. Click to enlarge any photo. See installation photo albums at the bottom.       +

A Taste of Haiku

Haiku are short poems that capture an intuitive moment of perception. As Henry Miller once wrote, “Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.” Ingredients of a traditional haiku include a season word, cutting word (creating two parts), and objective sensory imagery. Haiku in Japanese are 5-7-5 sounds (not syllables), and the equivalent in English is about 10 to 14 syllables. The word “haiku” itself is two syllables but counts as three sounds in Japanese, so writing 17 syllables in English is usually too long. The most important aspect of haiku is to imply emotion without stating it.

Banner Haiku

2007 Best Youth Haiku

glistening on
the field’s dew
cherry blossom light

        Candis Rooker (age 15)
        Vermilion, Ohio

kirakirato kusatsuyu ni hae hanaakari

        キャンディス・ルッカー (志学)

2008 Best Canadian Haiku

a winter blizzard
I turn my calendar
to cherry blossoms

        Marilyn Potter
        Toronto, Ontario

mōfubuki sakura e mekuru karendā


2010 Best United States Haiku

a sudden hush
among the children
cherry blossom rain

        Melissa Spurr
        Joshua Tree, California

totsuzen no kora no chinmoku hanafubuki

        ジョシュア ツリーカリフォルニア

2010 Best International Haiku

cherry trees in bloom—
if only I could stop
the wind

        Lucas Garczewski
        Poznan, Poland

hana no ki ya kaze tomerukoto kanaunara


2009 Sakura Award

cherry blossoms
no need to decorate
the birthday cake

        Katrina Shepherd
        Dunblane, Scotland

sakurabana kazari wa iranu tanjōka


Haiku Installation Poster

The following poster introduces the haiku banner installation at VanDusen Botanical Garden, including banner locations and overview information (click to enlarge). English-language haiku appear on white banners, with Japanese translations on blue banners.

Banner Photographs

Michael Dylan Welch and Jane Durante

The VCBF haiku stone at VanDusen