1000 Poems from the Manyoshu: The Complete Nippon Gakujutsu by Anonymous

By Anonymous

Courting from the 8th century and previous, the Manyoshu is the oldest eastern poetry anthology. The 1,000 poems selected for this recognized choice have been selected by means of a distinct scholarly committee in response to their poetic excellence, their position in revealing the japanese nationwide spirit and personality, and their cultural and ancient significance.  textual content is in English purely.

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The seafarer had to wait for favourable winds before he could hoist sail ; and relying upon good weather, he steered his uncertain course along rugged coasts and from island to island. Neither was the lot of the land traveller to be envied, for he had to make his way over steep hills or by a ' new-cut ' road bristling w1th tree-stumps. ' The Manyoshii contains a number of poems on the drowned or starved found on the roadside, giving a vivid proof of the extreme hazards of travel in those days. These hardships and privations, however, only served to reveal the depths of human existence, as contrasted with the amenities afforded by imperial progresses and hunting excurs10ns, of a few days' duration and not even very far away from the capital.

The peak 1s immortalized also by Y amabe Akahlto (Nos. 567-8), and by another, unknown, poet (Nos. 651-3). As these poets sing ofFuji the majestic and beautiful, or of Fuji the sublime and mysterious, Japanese poetry itself seems to soar to a rapturous height nowhere else surpassed. Among other mountains that were revered as deities, there is Tateyama, sung by Otomo Y akamochi (Nos. 550-2, 55 3-5); also the Tsukuba Mountain, famous for its festival of Kagai which was held in spring and autumn, and in which men and women gathered to pass the night dancing and singing (Nos.

550-2, 55 3-5); also the Tsukuba Mountain, famous for its festival of Kagai which was held in spring and autumn, and in which men and women gathered to pass the night dancing and singing (Nos. 668-9). All these mountains, which were greatly revered, are located far from the capital ; but there are a number of mountains and hills nearer the capital, especially in the province of Y amato, which, either by their divinity or by virtue of their graceful features, were famous m song and story. In the south of Yamato Plain there is Unebi, a female mountain, with the two male mountains of Kagu and J\Hminashi standing near by.

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