A HUNDRED VERSES FROM OLD JAPAN: the Hyaku-nin-isshiu or 'Single Verses by a Hundred People' written in the Tanka style

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Abela Publishing Ltd, 2009 - Poetry - 222 pages
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The Hyaku-nin-isshiu, or 'Single Verses by a Hundred People', were collected together in A.D. 1235. They are placed in approximate chronological order, and range from about the year AD 670. Perhaps what strikes one most in connection with the Hyaku-nin-isshiu is the date when the verses were written; most of them were produced before the time of the Norman Conquest (AD 1066), and one cannot but be struck with the advanced state of art and culture in Japan at a time when Europe was still in a very elementary stage of civilization. The Collection consists almost entirely of love-poems and what the editor calls picture-poems, intended to bring before the mind's eye some well-known scene in nature; and it is marvellous what effect little thumbnail sketches are compressed within thirty-one syllables. Some show the cherry blossoms which are doomed to fall, the dewdrops scattered by the wind, the mournful cry of the wild deer on the mountains, the dying crimson of the fallen maple leaves, the weird sadness of the cuckoo singing in the moonlight, and the loneliness of the recluse in the mountain wilds; while those verses which appear to be of a more cheerful type are rather of the nature of the 'Japanese smile', described by Lafcadio Hearn as a mask to hide the real feelings. Japanese poetry differs very largely from anything we are used to in the West. It has no rhyme or alliteration, and little, if any, rhythm, as we understand it. The verses in this Collection are all what are called Tanka which has five lines and thirty-one syllables, arranged thus: 5-7-5-7-7 which is an unusual metre for Western ears. For this translation the editor has adopted a five-lined verse of 8-6-8-6-6 metre, with the second, fourth, and fifth lines rhyming, in the hope of retaining at least some resemblance to the original form, while at the same time making the sound more familiar to English readers. A percentage of the net sale will be donated to charities specialising in educational scholarships. YESTERDAY'S BOOKS for TOMORROW'S EDUCATIONS
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
1TENCHITENNŌ
13
KAKINOMOTO NO HITOMARO
15
YAMABE NO AKAHITO
17
SARU MARU TAIU
19
CHŪNAGON YAKAMOCHI
21
ABE NO NAKAMARO
23
KIZEN HŌSHI
25
FUJIWARA NO YOSHITAKA
109
FUJIWARA NO SANEKATA ASON
111
FUJIWARA NO MICHINOBU ASON
113
UDAISHŌ MICHITSUNA NO HAHA
115
GIDŌSANSHI NO HAHA
117
DAINAGON KINTŌ
119
IZUMI SHIKIBU
121
MURASAKI SHIKIBU
123

ONO NO KOMACHI
27
SEMI MARU
29
SANGI TAKAMURA
31
SŌJŌ HENJŌ
33
YŌZEI IN
35
KAWARA NO SADAIJIN
37
KWŌKŌ TENNŌ
39
CHŪNAGON ARIWARA NO YUKIHIRA
41
ARIWARA NO NARIHIRA ASON
43
FUJIWARA NO TOSHIYUKI ASON
45
ISE
47
MOTOYOSHI SHINNŌ
49
21SOSEI HŌSHI
51
BUNYA NO YASUHIDE
53
ŌYE NO CHISATO
55
KWANKE
57
SANJŌ UDAIJIN
59
TEISHIN KŌ
61
CHŪNAGON KANESUKE
63
MINAMOTO NO MUNEYUKI ASON
65
ŌSHIKŌCHI NO MITSUNE
67
NIBU NO TADAMINE
69
SAKANOUYE NO KORENORI
71
HARUMICHI NO TSURAKI
73
KINO TOMONORI
75
FUJIWARA NO OKIKAZE
77
KINO TSURAYUKI
79
KIYOWARA NO FUKAYABU
81
BUNYA NO ASAYASU
83
UKON
85
SANGI HITOSHI
87
TAIRA NO KANEMORI
89
NIBU NO TADAMI
91
KIYOWARA NO MOTOSUKE
93
CHŪNAGON YATSUTADA
95
CHŪNAGON ASATADA
97
KENTOKU KO
99
SŌ NEYOSHITADA
101
47YEKEI HŌSHI
103
MINAMOTO NO SHIGEYUKI
105
ŌNAKATOMI NO YOSHINOBU ASON
107
DAINI NO SAMMI
125
AKAZOME EMON
127
KOSHIKIBU NO NAISHI
129
ISE NO TAIU
131
SEI SHŌNAGON
133
SAKYŌ TAIU MICHIMASA
135
GON CHŪNAGON SADAYORI
137
SAGAMI
139
DAISŌJŌ GYŌSON
141
SUWO NO NAISHI
143
68SANJŌ IN
145
NŌIN HOSHI
147
RIYŌZEN HOSHI
149
DAINAGON TSUNENOBU
151
YŪSHI NAISHINNŌ KE KII
153
GON CHŪNAGON MASAFUSA
155
MINAMOTO NO TOSHIYORI ASON
157
FUJIWARA NO MOTOTOSHI
159
HŌSHŌJI NYŪDŌ SAKI NO KWAMBAKU DAIJŌDAIJIN
161
SUTOKU IN
163
MINAMOTO NO KANEMASA
165
SAKYŌ NO TAIU AKISUKE
167
TAIKEN MONIN HORIKAWA
169
GO TOKUDAIJI SADAIJIN
171
DŌIN HOSHI
173
KWŌTAIKŌGŪ NO TAIU TOSHINARI
175
FUJIWARA NO KIYOSUKE ASON
177
SHUNYE HŌSHI
179
SAIGYŌ HŌSHI
181
JAKUREN HŌSHI
183
KWŌKA MONIN NO BETTO
185
SHIKISHI NAISHINNŌ
187
IMPU MONIN NO ŌSUKE
189
GOKYŌGOKU SESSHŌ SAKI NO DAIJŌDAIJIN
191
NIJŌ IN SANUKI
193
KAMAKURA UDAIJIN
195
SANGI MASATSUNE
197
SAKI NO DAISŌJŌ JIYEN
199
NYŪDŌ SAKI DAIJŌDAIJIN
201
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About the author (2009)

William N. Porter, 1849-1929, translated the Hyaku-Nin-Isshiu, or, A Hundred Verses from Old Japan, one of Japan's most famous anthologies of poetry.

 

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