Pre-Modern: 100 Poems by 100 Poets

Pre-Modern: 100 Poems by 100 Poets
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The Hyakunin Isshu, an anthology of one hundred poems by one hundred poets, was compiled by the courtier Fujiwara no Teika (1162–1241) after a career as poet for the emperor. The Hyakunin Isshu became the textbook for all subsequent poets; both it and Teika were widely revered, especially after the anthology was printed in the 1630s and illustrated in the 1680s. The anthology had a deep impact on poetry and plays for the nobility, and later for the public. The poets themselves became the subjects of art and theater, and ideographs from the one hundred poems were scattered across textiles, lacquers, and ceramics to evoke a season or emotion. A game, developed around 1620, involved matching cards printed with the first and last lines of the poems; played at New Year’s, the game is still used to teach children imperial poetry.

- Hollis Goodall, Curator, Japanese Art (2007)