Makurakotoba was the Rokugani term for “pillow-words,” essentially epithets used at the start of a poem to set a tone and “introduce” the subject of the poem, granting some insight into the true nature of the subject through calling it by a different name. In some conventions, the actual subject of a tanka poem was never objectively revealed, but described exclusively by makurakotoba. [1]


  1. Book of Fire, p. 116

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