Poetry of Japan
Brief Overview of Japanese Poetry
Worldwide Famous Japanese Poetry
Japanese poetry is a poetry written or spoken in Japanese language. Japanese lyric poetry such as Haiku, Senryu and Tanka are now widespread to the world and enjoyed by many non-Japanese practitioners. As Japanese poetry became popular around the world, Haiku, Senryu, and Tanka are now written and spoken in English and other languages. It is not too much to say that Japanese poetry became already an art for everyone in the world.
Japanese Poetry was originated from Human Emotions
The beginning of Japanese poetry is said to be some kind of screaming or crying which express the human emotions. Those expressions evolved into the songs for the ceremonial gathering and religious rituals. However, those songs are lost due to non-existence of written language in ancient Japan.
In early 7th century, the oldest history book written in Japanese “Kojiki” recorded the old style poems in those days, and these were already refined similar to the poems of today. Therefore, it is impossible to trace the change of ancient Japanese poetry.
Love was brought by Poetry in Old Japan
In the “Manyoshu”, the oldest collection of Japanese poems from 8th century, more than 4,500 poems were recorded. In the collection, there are varied poems from the emperors to commons, and you can see the lifestyles of the day. In those days, poetry is not just an art, but practical tool to express ones emotion and feelings. For example, sending a poem of love to someone is very common way of confessing love. Also, instead of dating with lover, exchanging the poems of love is the most common way of nurturing relationship. On the other hand, poetry played very important role in a world of politics. It was necessary to have an ability to make a good poem in the aristocratic society, otherwise it was impossible to get a social success. Good taste of poetry was one of the most important elements of show the people’s capability.