JAPANESE POEMS

“One hundred poets, one hundred poems” Ogura hyakunin isshu, is a collection of one hundred classical Japanese poems (waka), each by a different poet. Seventy-nine male poets, and twenty-one female poets.


The collection is organized chronologically from Emperor Tenji (626-671) to Emperor Juntoku (1197-1242). Each of the poets is depicted by a woodblock print.

The Ogura hyakunin isshu is a collection of one hundred poems composed for the most part over a period of some three hundred years, from the early tenth to the early thirteenth century.


The poems are assumed to have been selected by Fujiwara no Teika (or Sadaie, 1162-1241), the outstanding waka poet and critic of his day.


Many of selected poems were ornamental in nature, because they were meant to be used as decoration.  Teika being requested by his son Tameie to choose one hundred poems that, when transcribed onto rectangular strips of paper known as shikishi, could be used to decorate the door panels in the villa owned by Tameie's father-in-law Utsunomiya Yoritsuna near Mount Ogura on the outskirts of Kyoto.

 
 

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