Poetry was admired in Rokugan as the highest form of literature.

Waka Edit

Famous Poet

Famous Poet

The traditional short poems and songs were known as waka, were written in short lines with thirty-one syllables following a 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic pattern. A popular challenge in court was to compose a short poem, and this would require the artist to think quickly on their feet to use what his opponent just performed and turn it back against them. The best known compilation of poems was the Manyoshu, which was compiled by Ikoma Ume and contained over four-thousand individual waka from great poet masters such as Kakita Kiyamori, Akodo Tomei and Rezan. [1]

Renga Edit

The more modern form of poetry called renga followed the same syllabic pattern as waka, but was performed by two people. The first person performs the 5-7-5 then the second finished with the 7-7. One of the most highly regarded poets of the 12th century was Kitsune Shikitora who spent over fifty years collecting poems from across the Empire. [1]

Poetry Contest Edit

Poetry Contest

Poetry Contest

Every year a poetry competition is held by the Emperor, and sponsored by the Crane Clan. Thousands of people entered their waka on a topic chosen by the Emperor himself. It was at one of these competitions many years ago that the ronin Rezan saved his own life by winning the competition. He had criticized the imperial policies of the then Emperor, and was subsequently commanded to commit seppuku. Rezan was also the first to develop the shortest form of poetry known as haiku. Until that time most poetry shorter than five lines was considered frivolous. [1]

Poetry in Rokugan Edit

The Otaku, known for being people of few words, wrote some of the most beautiful and highly-regarded poetry of Rokugan. [2] Hantei Genji, son of the first Hantei, believed that poetry was the highest asset of a truly skilled politician, for it represented a complete mastery of voice and language. From it derived the belief that poetry could bring peace and understanding to human relationships. [3]

Known Poem Styles Edit

See Also Edit

External Links Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Way of the Crane pp. 67-68
  2. Way of the Unicorn, p. 42
  3. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 27

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