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1000 Poems from the Manyoshu: The Complete Nippon Gakujutsu Shinkokai Translation

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  164 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Dating from the 8th century and earlier, the Manyoshu is the oldest Japanese poetry anthology; it is also widely considered to be the best. The 1,000 poems (out of a total of more than 4,500) in this famous selection were chosen by a distinguished scholarly committee based on their poetic excellence, their role in revealing the Japanese national spirit and character, and t ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published March 4th 2005 by Dover Publications (first published 759)
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Oct 10, 2015 Eadweard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By the Toko Mountain in Omi
There flows the Isaya, River of Doubt.
I doubt whether nowadays
You, too, still think of me?

(Prince Otsu and Lady Ishikawa)

Waiting for you,
In the dripping dew of the hill I stood,
-weary and wet
With the dripping dew of the hill.

- By the Prince

Would I had been, beloved,
The dripping dew of the hill,
That wetted you
While for me you waited.

- By the Lady

Tonight the autumn moon shines
The moon that shone a year ago,
But my wife and I who watched it then together
Jul 09, 2016 Gwern rated it liked it

While not as read as the classic Heian-era waka poets, themselves vastly less read than the haiku poets, the Man’yoshu remains the first Japanese poetic collection of note and something I’ve always meant to read. Even if the MSY wasn’t important as a foundational text or one of the major scholarly projects of Japanese literature, it is still of note for the diversity of its verse forms, contributors (not just aristocrats or townmen), topics (eg genuine poverty), and documenting early Japanese cu

Dec 02, 2015 Brendan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
By far the most 'difficult' to read. You miss out on the depth from the original's with the translation, the word play just can't be replicated, and it'd take a poet to 'redo' them properly. And while this is arguable in any translation, I point to Royall who did a superb job in the Tale of Heike in getting the word play and multi-tiered language out from the original and into the english. Of course, you can't quite do what he did with a 31 syllable poem, so, maybe it's hopeless... still I ...more
Poems from a land not as easily recognizeable as the Japan we now know and are used to. Before all the cliche / stereotypical things we now associate it with (samurai, geisha, etc). A Japan beginning to expand outwards from central Honshu, still not master of the island, full of 'barbarian' Emishi and unconquered lands to the east.


(Empress Iwa-no-himé)
(Longing for the Emperor Nintoku)

Since you, my Lord, were gone,
Many long, long days have passed.
Should I now come to mee
Mohammad Ali
Jan 17, 2015 Mohammad Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
این اشعار کوتاه ژاپنی بیشتر از آنکه خود چیزی داشته باشند، حیث اشاره گری و تصویری شدیدی دارند. کوتاهی موجب آن می شود که فکر سریع از این سر نخ رو سوی دیگر تصاویر و اندیشه ها کند. سادگی آن مسحور کننده است. ترجمه هم زبان خوبی دارد و در موارد زیادی شیرینی زبانی را می توان در آن دید.

در مقابل هر شعر نگارش ژاپنی آن با خوش خطی آمده است. اما صد افسوس که راز خط خوش ژاپنی بر من گشوده نیست و این بسی ناراحت کننده است. کاملا نی توان حس کرد حرف هایی که در این نگارش خاص ژاپنی نهفته است - خطی که می گویند ننوشتن ه
Jan 11, 2009 Joshua rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry-prose
This little book of haiku has put me back on a poetic track I left 4 years ago. Simple poems of few words that open a vast world of feeling and thought. Single phrases so lovely addition can only mar them. It's a collection, but if you love haiku check it out.
Akemi G
Nov 25, 2016 Akemi G rated it it was amazing
It seems some cultures take poetry more seriously than others. When the Japanese people learned the writing system from the Chinese, one of the first books they produced was this giant anthology of poems (4500+ poems). Authors vary from emperors and courtiers to anonymous ordinary people. (The other thing they did was to write down the history: The Kojiki: Records of Ancient Matters) I've read the whole thing in Japanese, and to this day, can recite some of them by heart. It gives me a great com ...more
Aug 10, 2012 Erika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition


「there」のないカリフォルニア 友人がFB上で話してた本
「文学者」の国に、ぼくがいる アメリカの「ライター」と日本の「文学者」「作家」
万葉青年の告白 万葉集ってそんなに特別なの?日本人だけど、万葉集の持つニュアンスが分からない。
久しぶりの北京語 幼い頃学んだ言語
「莫説!」 「外国人」に対する態度
満州で聞いたコトバ 中国語で普通に白人に話しかける人。私もそうする時がある。
高級マンション、叫び声 やっぱり「日本的」な方がいいのかな。私だったら高級マンションがいい。
最後のエッセイ 引用

ニューヨークーーもうひとつの島国 NYを知ってればもっと面白いのかも。なんだか読みにくい文章。
ワシントンの少年ーークリントンを追う アメリカの政治の中枢近くに(地理的に)いた少年時代。
新宿とは何か これも分からん。新宿ってそんなに特別?ロンドンやNYを論じる時も現地の人はこんな風に(私のように)感じるのか?
Feb 19, 2014 Shawn marked it as on-hold
Shelves: japaneselit
I've gotten through all the intro text and I'm into the actual poetry now. It's amazing that this poetry survived as long as it did and it really gives a window into Japan during that time period, but I must say that I would like to see a better english translation. It seems that the translation included in this book is from the 1940s and it feels a bit outdated. It was translated into a very english style, which, I believe, takes away from the fact that this is Japanese poetry written almost ...more
Beautiful poetry, much about love and nature. The date from about 750 to 850. But at the end are two heartbreaking longer poems about poverty and the death of a child: Dialog of the Destitute and untitled poem 904 by Yamanoue, with two equally touching envoys, or summary tanka. Instructive are multiple linked poems on the same topic--e.g. plum blossoms in spring--that highlight the differences among the poets; some are inspired, some derivative.

I don't know any Japanese and can't comment on the
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giappone
Man'yoshu, poesie dall'antico Giappone.
Una selezione di poesie d'amore da una più ampia raccolta risalente al VII-VIII sec.
Componimenti brevi, che esprimono spesso lo struggimento per la lontananza dell'amato o dell'amata, che parlano di amori nati fuori dai vincoli coniugali.
Tutte le poesie sono accompagnate da splendide illustrazioni realizzate in carta.

Mentre sto qui, piena di desiderio
e ti aspetto, mio signore,
il vento d'autunno soffia
e fa ondeggiare le tende della mia stanza.

Poems presented only in English; translation seems clunky (although perhaps literal) in many places. Other than that, this book has a lot of informative endnotes that I think would have worked better as footnotes or headers. There's also some lovely artwork that accompanies the poems.
I've read these more in Japanese than in English, but these are overall very good translations. The Man'yōshū contains some of the most beautiful poetry in the world, in my opinion. It's a shame that it's not more well known outside of Japan.
Dec 08, 2008 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
Like the companion volumes from Basho and Kawabata, this book is a wonderful treat. Great art, and deep commentary from Donald Keene helps one appreciate it all the more.
Dec 17, 2010 Chase rated it it was amazing
I love reading the many interesting poems in here. they are challenging and fun. it is worth the struggle to parse them.
Paul Hartzog
A nice collection of art and poems that flows nicely from one image to the next in a meandering way.
Sep 05, 2014 Rocia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book contains some of my favorite poems. It contains poems about nature, wisdom, love and life.
Apr 05, 2014 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
A beautiful collection of short love poems. A beautiful , evocative treat that evoke a prolonged sense of separation from the one who we love.
I accidently touched the screen which said I was reading this book but I'm not. I was trying to say I was reading a book on Marc Chagall but I couldn't find the right one. Sorry.
Rui rated it really liked it
Mar 17, 2015
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Elizabeth Parks rated it it was amazing
May 31, 2014
Alice rated it it was amazing
Sep 14, 2014
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Mar 03, 2014
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Lucy Tong rated it it was amazing
Feb 27, 2016
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