Matsuri on Mobara - report by Martina Taeker

On Sunday October 26th, the Matsuri on Mobara was held to celebrate the relationship of Salisbury, SA, with its sister city Mobara in Japan. Cultural activities included demonstrations of martial arts, Japanese dance and music, and stalls featured origami, ikebana, calligraphy and Japanese food.

A Japanese poetry stall manned by Martina Taeker and Allison Millcock, was one of the popular attractions. The display of Allison's haiga and Martina's haiku scrolls drew a lot of attention. Many people were delighted to find that haiku was much more than the "boring 5-7-5 stuff" they had been taught at school. Information about Japanese poetry was also available, and bookmarks from HaikuOz, Eucalypt, and Wind Over Water were eagerly snapped up. Copies of 'Gathering: Japanese poetry by South Australian poets' were sold as were haiga and haiku scrolls. The level of interest the poetry stall received shows that Japanese poetry is enjoyed by people of all ages in Australia.

The announcement that the Salisbury Writers' Festival, held in August 2009, would be running a haiga competition drew considerable attention.

Haiga is the combination of haiku and visual art. For this competition, haiga will be defined as a haiku/senryu poem (not tanka) in conjunction with a two-dimensional work of art (photograph, drawing, digital art, etc). Both must be the original work of entrants.

Prizes total $500. Entries will be displayed in the John Harvey Gallery, Salisbury, and at Wind Over Water, the 4th International Pacific Rim Haiku Conference.

Further details will be posted on the HaikuOz website when they become available in 2009, but for those of you who are interested you can get a head start on watching for haiga moments.