Mukai 2nd Annual Haiku Festival Winners


This year’s second annual Mukai Farm & Garden Haiku Festival on Vashon Island drew nearly 400 entries, mostly from Vashon Island but also from as far away as Poland and Croatia.  “We are very awed and grateful for the number and quality of haiku poems that came to us from throughout the world,” said Rita Brogan, President of Friends of Mukai.

Haiku were submitted in four major categories: Heritage, Nature, Social Justice and Young Poet, and reviewed by a panel of four judges: Mayumi Tsutakawa; Dr. Lawrence Matsuda, Michael Feinstein and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma. “The joy of judging this competition is seeing hundreds of people from age five to 100, try, and often succeed, in distilling a thought or life lesson into such a tiny and strict form,” said judge Michael Feinstein.

Mukai’s 2021 Haiku Festival Jury selected the following winning haiku:
Heritage – Cynthia Hernandez, Shoreline, First Place; Bruce Haulman Vashon, Honorable Mention.

Nature – Anne Spiers, Vashon, First Place, Robert Fuerstenberg Vashon, Honorable Mention.
Social Justice – Adi Shepard, First Place, Seattle; Sebastian Chrobak, Honorable Mention, Poland.

Young Poet – Ella Odegaard Vashon, First Place, Juno Leonard Vashon, Honorable Mention.
People’s Choice  – Tomosumi, Bellevue, WA.

All haiku entries can be seen at and on outdoor display throughout the Mukai Farm & Garden complex through the month of June.

First Place Haiku include:
my ancestors’ dreams
bloom in me, a blossom tree
with deep roots and reach
–     Cynthia Hernandez

More snow erases
the careful calligraphy
of windfall on ice.
–    Anne Spiers

The People’s Choice Award
sand-covered barracks
the tower guard witnesses
racial injustice
–    Tomosumi

Social Justice
On the ground, Gasping
for fresh air, Praying to live
His skin becomes cold.
–    Adi Shepard

Young Poet
I love beginnings
a chick named Jesse Owens
going places fast
–     Ella Ødegaard

Mukai Farm & Garden is being restored and managed by the Friends of Mukai to celebrate Vashon’s Japanese American and agricultural heritage, and the greater Asian American Pacific Islander communities. Mukai shows how history lives and is relevant to our lives today.