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Learn Japanese From Kokin Wakashu

Kokin Wakashu, also called Kokinshu, is one of the 21collections of Japanese poems that were compiled by imperial request. This collection consists of about 1111 Japanese poems written by many authors.

“Kokin Wakashu” has different meanings, for example: “Collection of Old and New Japanese Poems” and “Ancient and Modern Japanese Poems”. This collection was divided into 20 books and edited by four court poets, who are:

  • Ki no Tsurayuki
  • Ki no Tomonori
  • Mibu no Tadamine
  • Mitsune Oshikochi

Each poem has its own title that refers to different themes of classical poetry, such as: love, season, nature and mourning.

The poems of Kokinshu can be roughly divided into three periods, which are:

Poems from the 9th century, most of them are anonymous.

Poems of the age of the "Six Poetic Geniuses", which where:

  • Otomo no Kuronoshi
  • Ono no Komachi
  • Ariwara no Narihira
  • Kisen Hoshi
  • Sojo Henjo and Bunya no Yasuhide

Poems by the editors and their contemporaries.

Poem Number 658

This poem was written by Ono no Komachi.

夢 ぢ に は


あし も やすめず


かよ へ ども


うつつ に ひと め


見し ごと は あらず

yumeji ni wa


ashi mo yasumezu


kayoedomo


utsutsu ni hitome


mishigoto wa arazu

Though I go to you


ceaselessly along dream paths,


the sum of those trysts


is less than a single glimpse granted


in the waking world.

Tatsuta river (Anonymous)

竜田河


もみぢみだれて


流るめり


わたらば錦


なかやたえなむ

Tatsutagawa


momiji midarete


nagarumeri


wataraba nishiki


naka ya taenam

Tatsuta river


red leaves are floating


in chaotic pattern;


crossing here would be


cutting their brocade...


Author: Ichika
"新しい言語は、新たな人生の始まり。"
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