It is the continued support of the Haiku International Association, the Haiku UNESCO Promotion Council (as of 2018), the World Haiku Association, The Haiku Foundation (as of 2017) and of the organiser, The International Academic Forum, that has allowed the IAFOR Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award to grow considerably in size and standing since its inception in 2011. It is with thanks to these organisations that the award is now one of the world’s most well-respected international haiku awards, attracting more than 800 submissions from over 50 countries. Particular thanks goes to Dr Akito Arima, President of the Haiku International Association, and to HIA board members Hana Fujimoto and Emiko Miyashita, for their support, encouragement and valued regular attendance at The Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities, (ACAH) conferences where the award ceremonies are held.
The International Academic Forum
The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) was founded in Japan in 2009 by a small group of Asian, European and North American academics and business professionals with the politically-independent objective to create the network hub for information exchange across Asia and beyond. It now hosts more than 40 interdisciplinary events each year across four continents, with programmes that are developed with leading institutions and scholars, and that feature addresses from some of the world’s most outstanding academics. IAFOR also publishes 13 Open Access academic journals covering a host of disciplines, as well as the online magazine THINK – The Academic Platform. The organisation is a dedicated supporter and promoter of the arts, with cultural events playing a valued role in the IAFOR programme. It organises and hosts international competitions in film, photography and literature.
Haiku International Association (HIA)
The Haiku International Association was established in December 1989 with the aim of promoting haiku and haiku culture, and of fostering friendships and communication among those writing haiku all over the world. The association currently has around 500 members in Japan as well as 120 international members. It is headed up by President Akito Arima, a renowned nuclear physicist and a haiku poet, he is also a former Minister of Education and a former president of the University of Tokyo. The association works to promote haiku alongside conferences, events, societies and awards, as well as by publishing its own magazine, HI, which is distributed to foreign embassies in Japan and to Japanese embassies worldwide.
Haiku Unesco Promotion Council
On July 22, 2016, a Promoters’ Council was formed for the mission of having haiku registered on the UNESCO’s List as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage. Sakae Okamoto, the Mayor of Iga City, Mie Prefecture (Matsuo Basho’s birthplace), and the three major Japanese haiku associations: Association of Haiku Poets (President: Shugyo Takaha), Modern Haiku Association (President: Shizuo Miyasaka) and Association of Japanese Classical Haiku (President: Teiko Inahata) and another member of the Council, Koji Kawamoto, Emeritus Professor at the University of Tokyo, have joined together as a task force to campaign for the listing. We are delighted to say that a movement to have haiku registered as the UNESCO intangible cultural treasure around the world is under way by the joint forces of haiku related municipalities such as Iga City and four major haiku associations in Japan including the HIA.
World Haiku Association (WHA)
Founded by Jim Kacian, Ban’ya Natsuishi and Dimitar Anakiev in 2000, the World Haiku Association set out to educate and promote haiku to the world, encouraging standards of excellence while maintaining appreciation for local and cultural norms. To promote a sense of community throughout the haiku world, the association, which became a Non-Profit Organisation in 2009, holds an annual World Haiku Association Conference and produces an annual publication, World Haiku. The association has a diverse membership of over 200 poets from all over the world.
The Haiku Foundation (THF)
The Haiku Foundation was inaugurated in 2004 and chartered as a non-profit in 2009 with two distinct goals in mind: 1) to archive the first century of haiku practice in English (and now including practices of dozens of cultures and languages around the world); and 2) to create new opportunities for the growth of haiku in our second. To that end, the Foundation offers a variety of haiku content on their website, as well as opportunities for poets to meet, share their work and discuss the genre with like-minded colleagues. In addition, the Foundation boasts the largest haiku library outside Japan, and houses the archives of some of the leading haiku poets in English. Through its activities and social outreach, it connects with thousands of people every day, spreading the word of haiku and providing it with a rich and diverse home.