Matsuyama in the spring

It's time for me to head to Matsuyama, for the Third Pacific Rim Haiku Conference.

2007 is the 140th anniversary year of the birth of the poet Shiki in Matsuyama. I look forward to seeing much of the city on foot, keeping a sharp eye out for stones that carry Shiki's haiku.

The Matsuyama Declaration was signed here in 1999 to establish the Masaoka Shiki International Haiku Research Center and to signify the generous intent of Japanese people to share haiku internationally.

It's spring in Matsuyama. If you visit the conference web-site
you can glimpse what is it like to go on a cherry blossom ginko at Matsuyama Castle.

The papers that will be presented on April 8, which include mine on Haiku on Australia will be broadcast via internet to the first 200 people who register to view them. The screen will be quite small to allow for diverse viewing capability. A schedule of events is available on the web-site and don't forget the time difference of an hour or two. and go to Schedule.

At this point of time I would like to thank the people who provided information and photographs for me to draw on for this paper. These people include John Bird, Janice M Bostok (who pioneered the introduction of haiku to Australia), Lyn Reeves, Dr Jacqui Murray from paper wasp, Vanessa Proctor, Ron Moss, Graham Nunn, Martina Taeker, Myron Lysenko, Dr Kumi Kato and Julie Simpson.

The first paper I wrote is almost twice as long as the one I will present but overall, this is probably for the good! It has been translated into Japanese for delegates.

Particular thanks to Yoshino Hirofumi (Matsuyama) who has arranged for the screening of the visuals to accompany my talk and to Ron Moss (Hobart) who supplied many of them. All the information and photographs are Australian in content except for the very last visual. This is a haiga by Russian born US resident Olga Hooper of a haiku I wrote about Hanami. It is included to pay respect to the international nature of haiku and to the privilege of being in Matsuyama in the spring.

Please note while I am out of the country Lyn Reeves is Acting President of the Australian Haiku Society.

Beverley George