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Tanka, also known as Waka, were the traditional short poems and songs in Rokugan. They were written in short lines with thirty-one syllables following a 5-7-5-7-7 syllabic pattern. The more modern form of poetry called renga was based on the same syllabic pattern as waka,  and haiku as well, a development of the first three lines of the tanka, known as the hokku. 
Grave Marker Edit
Tanka were commonly encountered on ancient grave markers, before the Imperial decree dictating cremation of all bodies. 
The tanka was a deceptively simple poem with a striking or complex meaning. It consisted of five “units,” each represented on a separate line on paper. The first three units were the “upper half” and the last two were the “completion” or “lower half.” Each unit was a complete or partial statement, consisting of a specific number of total syllables (more accurately, mora) on each line. The number of syllables/mora on each line must match the number of symbols to represent them. A tanka must divide its statement in the first and second halves; the first half should conjure a specific metaphor or image, and the couplet should either complete the metaphor or make a statement about the point of the first half. 
There were several conventions associated to Tanka poetry:
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