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Cool Japan / Hyakunin-isshu (百人一首)

File:Hyakuninisshu 001.jpg
(Poem Card No.1)

The 'Hyakunin-isshu' is a compilation of 100 exceptional poems from 100 famous poets, each individually chosen in chronological order.
The compilation was made by Sadaie Fujiwara, a poet of the Kamakura period, and the poems were carefully selected from the 'Kokinshu' and 'Shin-Kokinshu'.
File:Ogura Shikishi.jpg
(Ogura shikisi by Teika)

The making of the compilation first started when Sadaie was requested to choose a poem to put on the fusuma door of Rensho Utsunomiya's villa, the Ogura-sanso, in Sagano, Kyoto. The compilation was first named the 'Ogura-sanso-shikishi-waka' or 'Sagasanso-shikishi-waka', but it is most famously known as 'Ogura-hyakunin-isshu'.

After the completion of the 'Ogura-hyakunin-isshu', many other private compilations of 100 poems, each from a different poet, followed. These include the 'Gosen-hyakunin-isshu', 'Genji-hyakunin-isshu', and 'Nyobo-hyakunin-isshu'. Additionally, there is a game called 'utakaruta', which is based on the 'Ogura-hyakunin-isshu'. This 'utakaruta' game started during the mid-Edo period and continues even now.

(the Mount of Heaven's perfume (天の香具山 / Ama no Kaguyama))

For your information, taking up herewith one sample, Poem number 2, one of the poems attributed to Empress Jito was selected by Fujiwara no Teika for inclusion in the popular anthology Hyakunin Isshu. The text is visually descriptive as follows:

The spring has passed / 春過ぎて (Haru sugite)
And the summer come again / 夏来にけらし (Natsu ki ni kerashi)
For the silk-white robes / 白妙の (Shirotae no)
So they say, are spread to dry / 衣ほすてふ (Koromo hosu cho)
On the Mount of Heaven's perfume / 天の香具山 (Ama no Kaguyama)

By TS on Apr 17, 2012
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