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On the 7th of October, 2000, renku poets from seven different countries, including the USA, Romania, China, Russia, Australia, Korea, and Japan, gathered at Kokushikan University in Tokyo for a global renku symposium on the theme of international perspectives on renku in the 21st century.

The 20th Century has been described as the age of wars and of environmental destruction. Problems that have been pointed out include racial conflicts caused by cultural and religious differences, territorial problems caused by differences in political philosophies, as well as environmental problems such as global warming, the pollution of air and water, and the destruction of ecological systems.

The 21st Century will face big issues such as our harmonious life in the universe, the peaceful coexistence of all human beings, and conservation of the natural environment. In the coming century, through our recognition of the global value of the collaborative poetry of renku, we are committed to a movement which will convey to the people of the world the spirit of friendship and solidarity that has been nurtured by our writing renku in groups, and the spirit of respecting nature and protecting our environment that has been nourished by our appreciation of the seasons and season words.

We live in a revolutionary age of information technology, and the rapidly growing Internet has brought about the internationalization and globalization of the world. We wish, by making use of this new communications medium and writing renku with the people of the world, to promote mutual understanding and to make a contribution to the peace of the world and the happiness of all human beings.

Tokyo, October 7, 2000

Participants in the Global Renku Symposium


William J. Higginson (USA)
Ion Codrescu (Romania)
Xu Yaoming (China)
Okamoto Seijo (Japan)
Yazaki Ai (Japan)
Fukuda ShinkŻ (Japan)

Copyright © 2000 ShinkŻ Fukuda and William J. Higginson. The Tokyo Declaration for International Renku (the portion above the horizontal rule) may be copied for any nonprofit use, provided it is copied in its entirety (including this copyright notice). For permission to reproduce this material for any other purpose, please contact William J. Higginson, as below.

by William J. Higginson

The participants listed above presented papers and a panel discussion at, or directly supported, the Global Renku Symposium held at Kokushikan University, Tokyo, on 7 October 2000. The symposium was attended by approximately 200 people, including both adults who have participated in renku for many years and students, particularly international students interested in collaborative writing, from a number of colleges in the area. The symposium was organized by ShinkŻ Fukuda, a BashŰ scholar, professor of literature at Kokushikan, and master of the Amanogawa (Milky Way) Renku Club. Other presenters and signers were Ai Yazaki, author of books on renku and a renku newspaper column as well as university lecturer; Seijo Okamoto, president of the Renku Foundation and renku master; Yaoming Xu, editor at Beijing University Press and chair of the Beijing University China-Japan Poetry Study Group; Ion Codrescu, founder and president of the Constantsa Haiku Society and editor of Albatros, one of Europe's leading haiku journals; and William J. Higginson, past president of the Haiku Society of America and author of such books as The Haiku Handbook, The Haiku Seasons, etc.

The Tokyo Declaration was authored by Prof. Fukuda and translated by Tadashi ShŰkan Kondo with the assistance of Higginson, discussed by the participants, and signed in both Japanese and English.

A number of papers and the results of the linking contest from the Global Renku Symposium will appear on this web site in coming months. Links to them will be collected in a section of the Renku Home page.

Please address queries to William J. Higginson, by e-mail to wordfield-at-att-dot-net, replacing "-at-" with "@" and "-dot-" with a period, or by post or fax to:

William J. Higginson
P. O. Box 1402
Summit, NJ 07902 USA
+1-908-273-7170 (automatic)

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This page posted 26 October 2000 and last updated 8 August 2005.