Today I’d like to tell you about Japanese poems before Haiku called Tanka, which consist of words, it goes 5 7 5 7 7. Tanka it means ‘short song’.
It is like Haiku with syllables it goes 5 7 5, so the Haiku is in short of Tanka.
I’d like to introduce one Tanka in the most famous anthology of Tanka, called Hyakunin Ishu,(百人一首、One hundred poems of hundred poets).
Well the influence of Hyakunin Ishu is every where in Japanese culture especially in
because most poems are made around
in medieval times. Kyoto
It is not only the question of poems but in paintings and all sorts of life style that we have in
, or we used to have, so it is
one good way to know about our culture. Japan
So, I introduce one which a poet of
Kyoto sang about North of Japan near , which might interests you because
it is about textile fabrics, tissue. Fukushima
It goes like this in Japanese,
みちのくの しのぶもぢずり たれゆえに みだれそめにし われならなくに
みちのくに しのぶもぢずり 誰故に 乱れ染めにし 我なら泣くに
Michinokuno Shinobumojizuri Tareyueni Midaresomenishi Warenaranakuni
And I try to translate it poetically in English,
Like the tissue which name is Shinobumojizuri from the far north land,
My heart starts trembling in hidden love,
Who do you think that is because of,
It is not only by myself that I start crying.
So the poem is about both the tissue product and the hidden love inspired by the name of the tissue, Shinobumojizuri, for shinobu, it stands for endurance of hidden love within the poet.