Saturday, January 18, 2014

Japanese old "Hundred Waka Poems"

 (posted; Japanese culture page)
My main motive when I started writing blog was to introduce Japanese culture to the people in the foreign countries.  It has been almost 3 years and I feel like I've already done what I can do best.  However, would you be patient with me :-)

*Ogura Hyakunin Isshu 小倉百人一首*
     During the winter season, we have competitions of this card game in Japan.
This anthology of poems was supposedly compiled by Fujiwara-no-Teika during the 13th century.  "小倉百人一首" literally means "one poem each by a hundred different poets" and it consists of a hundred "waka" poems. 
The cards of the latter pack are spread out on the "tatami"-mat floor at random. As someone recites a poem from the cards of the first deck, the contestants seated around the scattered cards try to pick the matching card as quickly as possible. The player who picks up the most cards wins the game.
I've never attended nor seen the competition, however I remember recited some of them in the Japanese classics class when high school girl.

                                  You can see the swiftness of their hands!

         Here is the English translation page of Ogura Hyakunin Isshu. p;) 

     I hope your weekend will be the happy one, visiting you soon, friends♪
     I'm linking this post to "Our World Tuesday".


  1. Dearest Miyako,
    This looks more like attacking each others hands... It will be tough for actually picking up those cards!
    You always manage to teach us some ancient Japanese tradition and you no doubt have material on hand for doing this for years to come. Japan has such a rich history with so many ancient traditions as well.

  2. Rapidez muito grande vi no vídeo...beijos praianos, lindo fim de semana!chica

  3. wow, that is a tough competition! i loved the beauty of the cards, themselves. and all those poems must be hard to keep track of.

  4. Hello Miyako, Sounds like an interesting game. It would be fun to read the poems and try to find the matching card. Thank you for sharing your culture. Wishing you a happy day and weekend!

  5. Hallo dear Miyako. We all love hearing about the Japanese traditions and this one was no exception! Sounds like a really fun, if hectic, game of cards you described there!

  6. I love learning about your culture, Miyako! That looks like a fun but intense game. I read a few of the poems and they are lovely.

  7. I always come away from your posts feeling so enlightened, my dear friend! That sounds very interesting! I would enjoy reading the poems, I know, although I'm not very good at playing games. Thank you for sharing such wonderful things with us!

  8. Oh my goodness I can not believe how fast the people playing are, wonderful reflexes & love the cards too, beautiful art! I haven't been blogging for a while but hope to start up again soon, because I learn so much and love to see what my friends are up too :) Thank you for sharing because otherwise I would never learn about Japanese customs like this!!

  9. Thank you for this post, it is very interesting. It seems a lot of skill is needed to take part in this wcompetition.
    I was interested to see what a Waka is in Japan. In New Zealand the Maori word for canoe or boat is waka.

    love and blessings.

  10. I love knowing that these ancient traditions are being kept alive in your country. We are such a mixture of cultures over is hard to find such examples. The video was so interesting.

  11. the cards are beautiful.
    quick minds and quick hands are needed for this game!!
    i so enjoy learning about your culture my friend!!!
    sending love from across the ocean to you Miyako san!

  12. Hi Miyako san. You started your blog mainly to introduce Japanese culture to foreigners, but it definitely re-introduces the culture to Japanese, too! I've been enjoying to learn more about our culture :-)
    Some people are really good at playing hyakunin isshu! So fast!

  13. Hi Miyako
    I haven't been blogging for as long as you have, so everything you write about is fresh and new to me! I have been to Japan twice and love learning about Japan. Next month I have three Japanese girls moving in for a month I am going to impress them with my knowledge of 'Waka'poems!
    Wren x

  14. Dearest Miyako,
    the playing cards look beautiful for me! A special game, of which I never heard before... very interesting!
    Warm hugs and a happy new week,
    ✿ ܓ ✿ ܓ ✿ ܓ ✿ ܓ ✿ ܓ ✿ ܓ

  15. What beautiful cards!

  16. What a very skilful game, both in perception of the beautiful poetry and in the snatching of the cards.
    Thank you for giving us a glimpse of your culture.

  17. Lovely cards and very interesting video!

  18. Thank you for posting the English language version of the poems. Maybe I will make my own cards now! My Japanese mother told me about karuta, and I guess this is about the same thing.