We’re turning our attention this week to Japan’s first classic of poetry: the Man’yoshu, or the Collection of Ten-Thousand Leaves. We’ll trace the origins of the work as well as its cultural impact through the ages, and talk about why it is we should care about a bunch of poems some of which date back to times contemporary with the Roman Empire.
Listen to the episode here.
R.R. Honda, The Manyoshu: A New and Complete Translation
Man’yogana – The Language of the Man’yoshu (Courtesy of the Japanese Text Initiative of the Virginia Library Electronic Text Center)
君之行 /氣長成奴/ 山多都祢/ 迎加将行/ 待尓可将待
How many days and months have passed/ since you, my Lord, left me to roam!/ Now to the mountains should I go/ or wait and wait for you at home!
妹之袖/ 巻来乃山之/ 朝露尓/ 仁寶布黄葉之/ 散巻惜裳
How fair the maple leaves on Mt. Makiki/ colored by dews of morning!/ I shall grieve to see them fall.