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Oi Ocha New Haiku Contest

ITO EN has held an annual Oi Ocha New Haiku Contest since 1989. Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry based on a simple 5-7-5 syllable structure and particular emphasis on seasonal themes from nature. "New Haiku" is unique in that it allows people to express their feelings in haiku form, without needing to conform to the conventional seasonal themes or the 5-7-5 syllable format. A unique feature of the contest is that the winning entries are printed on the packaging of Oi Ocha products. For each contest we receive many entries, making it the largest creative writing contest open to the public in Japan.
     The contest includes an English-language section, enabling entrants from around the world to compose and submit their poems. The contest has seen its popularity spread overseas as people from many countries develop an interest in Japanese cuisine and food culture.
     Winning entries are printed on the packaging of Oi Ocha green tea products, allowing a wide audience to appreciate the poems. By extending the reach of New Haiku in this way, we want to contribute to the development of a new creative genre based on one of Japan's most celebrated traditional forms of poetry.