Talyn's Reviews > One Hundred Leaves: A new annotated translation of the Hyakunin Isshu

One Hundred Leaves by Blue Flute
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May 13, 12

bookshelves: poetry, books-i-ve-won
Read on May 13, 2012 — I own a copy

I won this in the GoodReads giveaway.

This book was okay. It is a collection of haikus from Hyakunin Isshu .

There is a very brief introduction and explanation of how haikus or tanka are written, as well as the origins of Hyakunin Isshu, who wrote it, time period, etc. as well as explaining that haikus and tanka are written in a special Japanese-y way. That is, lots of characters are read different ways.

I love Japanese culture, but as days go by I am becoming quickly frustrated by the language. Why oh why must they do the whole, "It's written like this kanji, but spelled THIS way, and pronounced THIS way!! :D " Why, Japanese people... Why? My head hurts!

Cultural and linguistic frustrations aside, this was a fair book.

I was deeply confused by the "Literal Notes" at first, because it was written fairly weird, but by poem 25 I realized that it was written EXACTLY as the Japanese had written it, if you were to translate it without rearranging anything to make it grammatically correct.

The poems were nice, but I was more distracted by my own personal challenge of , "How many Japanese words and kanji can I identify?" ... The most I correctly labelled off the top of my head with the translation for guidance is 7... Man , I wish I knew what the kanji for 'shi' was!!

A good staple for haiku and tanka lovers. I enjoyed the poems to an extent, but not as a connoussieur (sp?) of poems. Just a peruser of this book (the word 'peruse' does not actually mean 'skim or flip through' but it means 'read extensively' ).. and I did peruse this book, but mostly to crack the secret kanji.

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