The Japan Society
Education Events & Special Programmes 17th World Children's Haiku Contest

16th World Children’s Haiku Contest 2019-2020 – Results

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 16th World Children's Haiku Contest 2020. The Japan Society would like to thank everyone for their support of this year’s contest and for their patience in waiting for the results.

Entrants were asked to compose their own Haiku on the theme of Sports and submit it with an accompanying illustration or artwork for a chance to win a Canon digital camera. This year’s theme allowed students to share their passions through haiku and featured a surprisingly diverse range of sports.

We were extremely pleased to see interest from teachers and pupils across the UK and a record number of individual entries.

As always, selecting the winners was a difficult task and the judges from the Embassy of Japan, Japan Airlines, the Japan Society, and Haiku Poet Paul Conneally were very impressed with the creativity and attention to detail in the entries.

See below for all the winners and runners-up!

Comments from Participants

The opportunity to participate in the competition inspired our children to use the art of haiku to carefully select and consider language in order to communicate their thoughts and ideas within the structure of a haiku.  The combination of language, poetic structure and illustration provided them with a beautiful way to express themselves.

Karen Ferguson -  Headteacher, Stivichall Primary School

All our pupils from youngest to oldest, love the sense of accomplishment they achieve through creating something so small and meaningful as a haiku. The joy of playing with words and creating a poem in a lesson brings real pleasure. Also, we have been able to share our haikus with pupils in our partner school in Japan, creating beautiful classroom displays on the walls, as well as virtually.

Caroline Picking - Head of English, St Cedd's School

Our students love learning about haiku.  They enjoy the brevity of the form, and are always fascinated to spot the shift in perception or the unexpected element in the poem.  But most of all they enjoy writing haiku.  This is an activity we usually conduct outside, so that they can find their inspiration in the natural world, or in human interference in nature.  

Claire Evans - St Bernard's Grammar School 

Writing a haiku
Extremely enjoyable
Hard as it may seem
Florrie - JAL Prize Winner


Grand Prize Winners (1st place)

Dawn breaks, I set off
A fresh, warm breeze on my face
Gliding through water

Hattie Corbishley, 11 years old

A shiny red ball
Bouncing around the green pitch
Summer has arrived

Aarna Gandhi, 9 years old

A spring in my step
Pirouette like pink petals
Falling from a tree

Maya Williamson, 11 years old

Grand Prize Runners Up (2nd place)

Flying through the air
My heart is thumping, leaving
a trail of powder

Lucas Yang, 12 years old

The sun on my face
As I fly through the blurred world
Hooves and hearts in sync

Hannah Rayner, 13 years old

A rainbow of people
Flags raised high
Waving them on

Alyssa Martinez, 13 years old

JAL Prize Winners (3rd place)

Flying down the piste
Turning and dodging people
On infinite snow

Duncan Kerr, 11 years old

Stride by stride I fly
Racing through the muddy grass
My heart is pounding

Lilly Jackson, 11 years old

Dive in but don't splash
Feel the water rushing past
Reach for the surface

Chloe Addis, 10 years old

With fast paces
To the park I go
Ball in hand

Myla Tailby, 13 years old

New salt is layed down
Facing off, eyes locked, stood squat
Let battle commence

Polly Fletcher, 13 years old

I whisper to my
Horse as we approach the jump
"We will ride as one"

Tali Margoninski-Morrag, 9 years old

Skiers on the slopes
Race down slicing through the snow
A cold winters day

Phoebe Free, 15 years old

Riding on the waves
Water splashing on my board
Beseiged by the sea

Anna Duncan, 11 years old

I dance peacefully
with autumn's balance and grace
like leaves on water

Esme Blue, 6 years old

Elegant and poised
Dancing through spring like water
Syncro is my life!

Florrie Hunt, 10 years old

Little ladybird
Sitting by the cricket bat
Wants the game to start

George Haddon, 7 years old

I surface for air,
Grasping at what I can't see,
Water consumes me

Sophie Chou Polis, 13 years old

Running in the woods
Feel the tall trees drowing me
Adrenaline kicks

Sohpia Newton, 10 years old



Haiku Reading Corner

Dawn breaks, I set off
A fresh, warm breeze on my face
Gliding through water

Hattie Corbishley, 11 years old

A shiny red ball
Bouncing around the green pitch
Summer has arrived

Aarna Gandhi, 9 years old

I dance peacefully
with autumn's balance and grace
like leaves on water

Esme Blue, 6 years old

16th World Children’s Haiku Contest 2019-2020 - Rules and Entry Guidelines


First Prize for 3 students: Canon digital camera. Other prizes will also be awarded.

Closing Date for Entries: Saturday 21 March 2020

With the Japan Rugby World Cup and Tokyo Olympics, 2019-2020 is an important period for Japan and SPORTS. So, you may be inspired to do more physical activity: do you like team or individual sports? Dancing in your bedroom? Or simply walking outdoors in nature? This year we are looking for haiku that express the feeling as you score a goal or lose a game, jump up high or tumble on the ground, run through grass or conquer a mountain! Any theme that is connected to SPORTS is eligible for this competition.

The first Haiku Contest was organised by the JAL Foundation in 1990 and one has been held every two years since then. Japan Airlines, with support and assistance from the Japan Society, is pleased to announce the 2019-2020 Contest.

Entries should be submitted to the Japan Society by Saturday 21 March 2020.

See Results here.

Rules and Entry Guidelines


  • One entry per child (either typed or handwritten) on the theme of ‘SPORTS’.
  • Applicants must be aged 15 and under on 21 March 2020.
  • The haiku must be accompanied by hand-drawn or hand-crafted artwork on the same page, using A4-sized paper (21 cm x 29.7 cm) or letter-sized paper (8.5in. x 11in.).
  • Glue the application form on the back of the work.


  • Any form of artwork (except photographs or digital images) can be submitted.
  • Every entry must be the original and unpublished work of the child themselves. Assistance by others (parents, other adults, siblings, or other children) is prohibited.
  • The haiku must be presented in three short lines.
  • All rights (for compositions and artwork) will be reserved by JAL Foundation.

Contest Results

  • Contest results will be announced on the JAL Foundation and Japan Society websites in June 2020.
  • Haiku By World Children, Volume 16 will be shown in the entertainment program on Boeing 787 international Japan Airlines flights.

Individual Entry

Please complete and attach the application form to the back of all entries. Applicant’s name and age must be clearly marked on the reverse, together with the school name.
Please send entries to:
Haiku Contest
The Japan Society
13/14 Cornwall Terrace
London NW1 4QP

Group/School Entry

Entries from the same school may be parcelled together for submission. Please note that it is not necessary for each child to provide an email address on the application form in the case of group/school entries.
Each applicant must stick the application form on the back. Then, the parcel must include the United Kingdom Application Form for Schools.
Please send entries to:
Haiku Contest
The Japan Society
13/14 Cornwall Terrace
London NW1 4QP

Please note that the Japan Society can only receive entries from applicants based in the UK.

Writing Haiku

Download our guide to write your sport haiku

Don’t forget, haiku should ideally include some word or phrase that indicates a ‘season’ (Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter). For further tips and techniques on writing a Haiku please watch the film How to Haiku Beyond 7 5 7.

You can also see JAL Foundation’s Guide to Writing Haiku. For inspiration, you can read the winners and runners-up haiku from 2017-18 Living Things 15th World Children’s Haiku contest.

Contact Us

For more information on the JAL Foundation or to enter the Haiku Contest from outside the UK, please visit the JAL Foundation website.

If you have any questions regarding the competition in the UK please contact the Japan Society Education Team.