December 31, 2002 1:31 AM   Subscribe

Tired of haikus? Then it might be time for tanka. Older than haikus, tanka is 31 syllables divided into lines of 5-7-5-7-7. There's been a World Tanka Competition (mostly in Japanese, but the poems are translated into English) and a modern tanka poet, Machi Tawara, has had her work turned into movies, television shows, and a musical revue. All that's needed now is to make it popular in the English-speaking world...
posted by Katemonkey (5 comments total)
Tanka yous very much!
posted by shepd at 2:47 AM on December 31, 2002

Ha ha! C'mon, joke Tanka! After all,
Expressing yourself
In seventeen syllables
Is very diffic
posted by RokkitNite at 6:27 AM on December 31, 2002

Happy New Year from Japan, where it's 12:15 a.m. on Jan. 1, where I post with a glass of champagne in one hand and a mouse in the other.

I was planning to post on the Japanese New Year's game of Uta Karuta tonight, which is a sort of "Concentration" or "Husker Du" game using Tanka. What a surprise that you beat me to it, Katemonkey. Was it a coincidence, or did you know that this is a New Year's game? (BTW, I live by Shirakawa street in Kyoto. The first winning entry on your competition link mentions the Shirakawa, literally white river, so named because the white gravel that washes down out of the east mountains in Shirakawa is used for kare-san-sui dry landscape gardens in zen temples.)

Read about the game here. You can read part of the intro and then click to the "card game" link on the intro page to read the poems (and see the cards by clicking the numbers).

A Happy and Healthy new year to all MeFites.
posted by planetkyoto at 7:28 AM on December 31, 2002

happy new year and dont eat the mouse !
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:08 AM on December 31, 2002

It was absolute freaky coincidence -- I've been a fan of Machi Tawara for a few years now (and, much to my dismay, I let someone borrow my copy of Salad Anniversary and never got it back), and I figured it was high time for a post on her...
posted by Katemonkey at 8:09 AM on December 31, 2002

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