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. See links to three 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. 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

Installation Photographs

View the following photo albums to see more of the VCBF haiku banners: