Modern Japanese Tanka: An Anthology

Front Cover
Makoto Ueda
Columbia University Press, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 265 pages
3 Reviews
Tanka, a clasical Japanese verse form like haiku, has experienced a resurgence of interest among twentieth-century poets and readers. Arguably the central genre of Japanese literature, the 31-syllable lyric made up the great majority of Japanese poetry from the ninth to the nineteenth century and was the inspiration for such poetry as haiku and renga. Tanka has begun to attract considerable attention in North America in recent years. Modern Japanese Tanka is the first comprehensive collection available in English.

Tanka retains the aesthetic sensibilities that circumscribe Japanese culture, but just as Japan has changed during this tumultuous century, tanka has undergone equally radical shifts. Responding to artistic and social movements of the West, tanka has incorporated influences ranging from Marxism to Avant-Garde.

Modern Japanese Tanka includes four hundred poems by twenty of Japan's most renowned poets who have made major contributions to the hisotry of tanka in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. With his graceful, eloquent translations, Makoto Ueda captures the distinct voices of these individual poets, providing biographical sketches of each as well as transliterating Japanese text below each poem. His introduction gives an excellent overview of the development of tanka in the last one hundred years.

Tracing the contemporary tanka tradition from Yosana Tekkan in the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth-century poetry of such writers as Taware Machi, Modern Japanese Tankselegantly conveys an authentic sense of Japanese lyric to a Western audience.

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User Review  - tombrinck - LibraryThing

A great and highly-readable book of modern tanka. The introduction gives a solid introduction to the development of modern tanka, both from Japanese and Western influences. Twenty poets are featured ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

English with only roumaji transcriptions at the bottom of the page and not kanji + kana originals - rather disappointing at this price from an academic press.
here is a case where an e-book
should be able to improve upon a print edition.
The best books have kana and kanji with furigana ABOVE the English ( no translation trumps the original ! )


Yosano Tekkan 18731935 i
Masaoka Shiki 18671902
Mori Ogai 18621922
Yosano Akiko 18781942
Ishikawa Takuboku 18861912
SaitO Mokichi 18821953
Kitahara Hakushu 18851942
Siatu Ciate 18871953
Maekawa Samio 19031990
Sditti Fumi fe 1909
Miya Shuji 19111986
Kondo Yoshimi b 1913
Tsukamoto Kunio b 1922
Nakajo Fumiko 19221954
Sasaki Yukitsuna b 1938
Tawara Machi b 1962

Toki Zenmaro 18851980
Okamoto Kanaka 18891939
Miyazawa Kenji 18961932
Okuma Nobuyuki 18931977
Selected Bibliography
Copyright Acknowledgments 253

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About the author (1996)

MAKOTO UEDA is Professor of Japanese at Stanford University.

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