Japanese poetry  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Japanese poets first encountered Chinese poetry when it was at its peak in the Tang Dynasty. It took them several hundred years to digest the foreign impact, make it a part of their culture and merge it with their literary tradition in their mother tongue, and begin to develop the diversity of their native poetry. For example, in the Tale of Genji both kinds of poetry are frequently mentioned. (Since much poetry in Japan was written in the Chinese language, it is perhaps more accurate to speak of Japanese-language poetry.)

A new trend came in the middle of the 19th century. Since then the major forms of Japanese poetry have been tanka (new name for waka), haiku and shi.

Nowadays the main forms of Japanese poetry can be divided into experimental poetry and poetry that seeks to revive traditional ways. Poets writing in tanka, haiku and shi move in separate planes and seldom write poetry other than in their specific chosen form, although some active poets are eager to collaborate with poets in other genres.

Important collections are the Man'yōshū, Kokin Wakashū and Shin Kokin Wakashū.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Japanese poetry" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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