Southern Arizona haiku winners for 2023 Arizona Matsuri

Several haiku poets in Southern Arizona won at the 2023 Arizona Matsuri haiku contest including my UA professor husband Albrecht Classen (honorable mention, Adult category). Here’s his winning haiku on page 17:

“Desert sun placates

We shiver at night

despite Tourists’ assumptions”

Professor Albrecht Classen

In the Japanese Language category, Hitomi McKnight of Tucson Japanese Language School won Outstanding haiku (page 20):

満⽉の 夜に吠えわたる (よに ほえ わたる) コヨーテの唱 (うた)

“The night of the full moon

Coyote’s song

Howls and extends”

Hitomi McKnight

Also in Japanese Language, Ayumi Uchida won Honorable Mention for her haiku on page 21,

しろうさぎ いっぱいたべたい つきみだんご

“The white rabbit

Wants to eat its fill

Moon-viewing dumplings”

And SAJCC Council member & Volunteer Miki Pimienta once again won Honorable Mention for hers on page 22 (Japanese Language category):

ちらちらと 雪舞うサワロ 綿帽⼦

“Flickering Snow

dances on saguaro

Clumps of snow”

Miki Pimienta

All the winning haiku are listed in the 2023 E-Book below:

Haiku Ebook 2023 (

Congratulations to all the winners!

Lecture on Obaku Zen Calligraphy at UA on March 27

“Please join UA Center for Buddhist Studies on Monday, March 27 at 4 pm (Arizona Time) in the Copper Room at the Student Union for the next lecture of the Ōbaku Ingen/Lingyin Lecture Series! This is a hybrid in-person/online event.

The year 2022 marked the 350th death anniversary of Zen Master Yinyuan Longqi (隱元隆琦1592-1673, Ingen Ryūki in Japanese). Special ceremonies and events are being held in both Japan and China to honor this great Zen master. In North America, the Center for Buddhist Studies, College of Humanities at the University of Arizona is organizing a series of commemorative events which will run for one year beginning May 3, 2022. These events will present and explore the extraordinary life of Zen Master Yinyuan and the great achievements of the Huangbo 黃檗 Chan tradition (known as the Ōbaku school of Zen Buddhism in Japan)  that Yinyuan pioneered in China and Japan. These events highlight the intersection between religion, art, and culture in China and Japan and will be presented in both online and offline formats. Activities will include an online exhibition of works of art related to the Ōbaku tradition, academic lectures, musical performances, and tea-related events. (Visit our Ōbaku Ingen website at:

Time and Location:
Time: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm (Arizona Time)
Location: Student Union, Copper Room
Zoom link:

Talk title: Reflections on the Understanding, Appreciation and Authentication of Ōbaku Zen Calligraphy

Speaker: Dr. Harald Conrad, University of Düsseldorf

Abstract: As a researcher and collector of Japanese calligraphy, I will address in this talk, which is primarily aimed at a Western audience, first issues around the appreciation of Japanese calligraphy in general and then of Ōbaku Zen calligraphy in particular. In the arts of China and Japan, calligraphy has historically ranked highest among the arts. Due to the pictographic and expressive qualities of the Chinese script, its hand-written form captures not only literary meaning, but is believed to be a deep reflection of the writer’s mind. While critically examining this notion, I plan to address a number of questions: Is it possible for a Western audience to ‘understand’ Japanese calligraphy? What impact did Ōbaku Zen calligraphy have on the Japanese calligraphic tradition? Why is Ōbaku Zen calligraphy nowadays comparatively popular among Western collectors, but less so in Japan? What are pertinent questions of authenticity around Ōbaku Zen calligraphy?

Speaker Bio: Harald Conrad holds a Chair of Modern Japanese Studies at the University of Düsseldorf, Germany. Prior appointments were at the School of Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield (England), the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Japan), and the German Institute for Japanese Studies (Japan). Harald’s research focuses primarily on Japanese human resource management, social policy, and the structure and practices of traditional markets. As an avid collector of Japanese calligraphy, he has also worked on the Japanese art market (“Managing (Un)certainty in the Japanese Antique Art Trade – How Economic and Social Factors Shape a Market,” Japan Forum, 28:2) and published a seal handbook on the Confucian scholar Kameda Bōsai (1752-1826) (Kameda Bōsai Inpushū). In the 2000s, he was the only foreign member of an antique studies group around the late Japanese collector Atsumi Kuniyasu and late art dealer Kobayashi Katsuhiro in Tokyo. Harald has contributed a number of Ōbaku pieces from his collection to the ongoing online exhibition about Ingen Ryūki at the University of Arizona’s Center for Buddhist Studies.

Sponsored by Wanfu Temple in Fuqing, Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou, Pu Yin Education Center, and”

Haiku Spring walks at Yume Japanese Gardens on March 19

Haiku Spring Walk

Spring has returned to the Gardens! 

“For those who have already gone through the introductory course, we are re-convening for another gathering at Yume to continue to deepen our understanding, our observations, our sensibilities, and our growing haiku community. 

We will go into more depth concerning the kigo words, a focus on one of the Japanese masters, and then spend time again in the garden for reflection and time together for sharing.

Please sign up for this walk ONLY if you have completed the Introductory Haiku Workshop(offered the same day at 1:30pm).

Led by award-winning haiku poet Yukihiro Ibuki and Yume Cultural Director, Paul Amiel.


Sunday, March 19 at 12PM


$20 general/$10 Members 

Space is limited. Please reserve your spot!Purchase Tickets

Introductory Haiku Walk

Introductory Haiku Walk

“Haiku is the definition of brevity. Elegant due to its compactness of expression, its typically unrhymed versus only take up a few lines and a handful of syllables. As you can imagine, every single word counts. Revolving around seasonal topics and nature but often holding double meanings, these poems are a pleasure not only to read and understand, but also to try your hand at writing.

Our haiku writing walk is a time to observe, reflect on, and collect perceptions and images both of nature and life which are used in the appreciation and creation of haiku, the iconic Japanese short poem.

Led by award-winning haiku poet Yukihiro Ibuki and Yume Cultural Director, Paul Amiel, this one hour and half workshop will discuss the history, form, and aesthetics of haiku, followed by time in the Gardens to gather personal images and impressions (along with gentle Japanese music) which we will share afterwards in an informal time together.”

Sunday, March 19 at 1:30pm.
$25/ $15 Members

Space is limited. Please reserve your spot!Purchase Tickets

Book presentation on Japanese American Experience at Yume Japanese Gardens on March 18

BOOK PRESENTATION: The Japanese American Experience – Change and Continuity, by Minoru Yanagihashi

“Immigration and racism are contentious issues in many societies. This book deals, in part, with these two controversies through the experiences of the Japanese Americans.

No other second-generation ethnic group is given the kind of recognition achieved by the Nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans). But it was a perilous journey, fraught with endless discrimination, questioning of loyalty, and even confinement in concentration camps. Yet, they were able to achieve remarkable success in politics and made significant advances in American society. Although thoroughly assimilated, they kept alive their rich cultural heritage.

America is a country with diverse cultures, and this diversity is to be celebrated and not feared, for herein lies the strength of America. The narrative begins with a historical perspective and ends with an observer-participant view of events in Tucson, Arizona. This is a story that needs to be told.

About the Author:

Dr. Min Yanagihashi

Minoru Yanagihashi was brought up in the multicultural Hawaiian environment. Early on, he developed an interest in learning about his Japanese heritage and a desire to share his knowledge with others. He holds degrees from the University of Hawaii Manoa (BA), University of Washington (MLS), University of California, Berkeley (MA), and University of Michigan (PhD). His interest includes Japanese electoral politics and foreign policy. In recent years he has focused on the role Japanese Americans. He is a charter members of the Pan-Asian Community Alliance, Japan-American Society of Tucson, and Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition.”

Date & Time:



Event is just the price of regular admission to the Gardens.

(on the ticketing page, please select date/time: March 18, 10AM – button below)

Members are FREE

(please, make reservations through the website ticketing page – button below)

Advanced ticket reservation is required. This is a limited admission event.Purchase Tickets/Make Reservations

Reception for artist Curt Brill at Yume Japanese Gardens on March 10


“Curt Brill is back at Yume Japanese Gardens with his stunning ceramic and calligraphy artwork.

We will be celebrating his exhibit, “No Mud, No Lotus”, with an open reception on Friday, March 10th from 5:30pm – 7pm.

The reception will include light refreshments, a chance to discuss the exhibit with the artist and see the exhibit first hand.

Art also available for purchase.”

No admission required, this event is free for the public.

About the artist:

“Born in 1952 in the Bronx, New York, Curt began his serious pursuit of an art career while attending Cornell University. It began with exhibitions at Cornell that showcased his drawings, ceramic work and silk screening. Even though drawing has been his first and enduring love, professionally he has been most noted for his 3-dimensional work. His ceramic pieces have been widely collected across the United States since the mid 1970’s. The work has always been sensual, a direct response to the feel of the materials he has chosen to use. Being a people watcher with a keen eye by nature, and having a potent sense of humor and an easy demeanor, it is easy to see how his personal style has evolved. His work has now been met with wide appeal by individual collectors within the United States, Europe and Japan.”

“No Mud, No Lotus” will be available for your enjoyment from 3/2 – 4/30

For more information on the artist and the exhibit, clickHERE