A n g l o - J a p a n e s e   T a n k a   S o c i e t y

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The year 2005 will mark the 1,100th anniversary of the first Japanese imperial anthology, Kokinshu (Collection of Japanese Poems Ancient and Modern). The year will also mark the 800th anniversary of Shinkokinshu (New Collection of Japanese Poems Ancient and Modern) which was the eighth in what was to be a series of 21 imperial anthologies. The first imperial anthology compiled in 905, and the eighth in 1205, together with the first great anthology of about 4,500 poems compiled in the 8th century, Manyoshu (Collection of a Myriad of Leaves), represent the three greatest anthologies of Japanese poems.

Among these, Shinkokinshu especially exerted a far-reaching influence on the creation of Japanese aesthetics in the No drama, tea ceremony, ceramic art, and haiku in the 17th century, and many critics consider it to represent the summit of tanka composition. Still to this day the tanka tradition survives vigorously in Japan; the total number of tanka poems written in Japan each year must be in the order of millions, with major national newspapers alone receiving hundreds of thousands of tanka for their regular competitions. And the writing of tanka poems in other languages too is spreading in many parts of the world.

NB. On these pages we will be hosting short essays and commentaries on tanka and related arts.We invite submissions of short articles of no more than 3000 words on any topic of the history and culture of tanka and related arts. Articles will be reviewed by the Society Committee before publishing online. Further details and guidelines will be posted here at a later date.









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