Nationwide Junior High and High School Christian Senryu Contest

This summer, TCU is holding its 3rd annual “Nationwide Junior High and High School Christian Senryu Contest.”

Senryu Contest

Senryu is an immensely popular form of poetry in Japan, though it’s not as well known as haiku outside of Japan. Whereas haiku are generally serious poems about the beauty and fragility of life, senryu poetry takes everyday life as its subject matter.

Senryu poems are usually humorous. For example, they might express gentle self-deprecating humor, shine a light on odd behavior, or express cynical and dark humor about life. Many newspapers – from national to local – feature senryu poems from readers nearly every day. They range from harmlessly funny observations about daily events to biting criticisms of public figures.

Senryu contests are common. For example, take a look at these two contests reported in The Mainichi (a famous national newspaper):

Japan poetry contest winners reflect humor, hardship in life of salarymen amid pandemic

Panning for laughs: Japan toilet poetry contest winners depict funny, cynical side of life

TCU is accepting senryu entries from July 1 to September 30 (2022) on these themes:

  • Christian church life
  • Daily life of Christian faith
  • Christian activities at Christian schools

Here are the results from 2020 and 2021, in case you’d like to see a few good examples.

全国中高生クリスチャン川柳コンテスト 受賞作品発表!


The prizes are generous:

  1. First Prize is a ¥50,000 Amazon gift card (one winner)
  2. Second Prize is a ¥10,000 Amazon gift card (two winners)
  3. Third Prize is a TCU t-shirt (five winners)

The contest is limited to senryu composed in Japanese, but the contest is open to people regardless of nationality.

If you’re between the ages of 12 and 19 and can write Japanese, give it a shot!

If not, do you know any young people – whether Japanese or non-Japanese – who might like to enter the contest and try to win a summer bonus? Please send them to this page!

See the Japanese announcement of the contest for more information about the contest (including eligibility, submissions, and so on).

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