Japanese poetry, Collaborative verse

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Japanese poetry is poetry of or typical of Japan, or written, spoken, or chanted in the Japanese language, which includes Old Japanese, Early Middle Japanese, Late Middle Japanese, and Modern Japanese, and some poetry in Japan which was written in the Chinese language or the ryūka written in Ryukyuan: it is possible to make a more accurate distinction between Japanese poetry written in Japan or by Japanese people in other languages versus that written in the Japanese language by speaking of Japanese-language poetry. Much of the literary record of Japanese poetry begins when Japanese poets encountered Chinese poetry during the Tang Dynasty (although the Chinese classic anthology of poetry,


Much traditional Japanese poetry was written as the result of a process of 2 or more poets contributing verses to a larger whole piece, such as in the case of the renga form. Typically, the "honored guest" would begin by composing a few beginning lines, often in the form of the hokku (which, as a stand-alone piece eventually evolved into the haiku). This initial sally would be followed by a stanza composed by the "host". this process could continue, sometimes with many stanzas composed by numerous other "guests", until its final conclusion. Other collaborative forms of Japanese poetry also evolved, such as the renku ("linked-verse") form. In other cases, the poetry collaborations were of a more competitive type, such as the utaawase gatherings, in which Heian period poets would compose waka poems, on set themes: a chosen judge would choose the winner(s).

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