Courting from the 8th century and previous, the Manyoshu is the oldest eastern poetry anthology. The 1,000 poems selected for this well-known choice have been selected by way of a amazing scholarly committee in accordance with their poetic excellence, their function in revealing the japanese nationwide spirit and personality, and their cultural and historic significance. textual content is in English simply.
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Additional resources for 1000 Poems from the Manyoshu: The Complete Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkokai Translation
This is a romanticism exalting passion at the expense of the gods, and it is significant that such a sentiment is discovered in the works of apparently common people. In another poem (No. 833) its author, in his grief and despair, having lost his beloved wife, doubts the existence of any gods. Still another poem (No. 249) falls into sheer fantasy, as it speaks of persuading the moon-god to prolong a beautiful moonlight night ! There occurs even a cynical poem by a disillusioned poet who demands the return of the offerings made to a god because his prayers for a tryst with his maid had failed.
The clan system was not destroyed, but refined and elevated. Each clan, rising above its selfish interests, re-discovered its XXXIV razson-d'etre in the light of 1ts obligations to the Imperial House. The clansman realized his responsibility to uphold the reputation of h1s ancestors and strove to live and act accordingly, as may be readily seen from the works of the poets of the Otomo clan. This moral awakening was not confined to great families alone : that even the humblest people m the provinces were animated by a noble spint of loyalty is amply demonstrated by the poems of the frontierguards.
571-2). Beyond, rise the Y oshino Mountains which, with an imperial villa, their scenic beauties of green slopes and tumbling waters, spring flowers and autumn leaves, invoked an endless chorus of pious admiration and praise (Nos. 77-8, 79-80). Midway between Asuka and Nara and in a slightly easterly direction there stands the sacred hill of Miwa, and to its north a higher hill, Makimuku. The hill of Tatsuta, situated on the way from Nara to Naniwa and celebrated lx in those days for its cherry-flowers, was held in fee by Tatsutahiko, the god of wind.