Have you ever read a “Tanka”?
For Japanese students, you may have seen them in Japanese textbooks or the poetry columns of newspapers.
Tanka are a traditional form of Japanese poetry, and there are many who are probably somewhat familiar with its 5-7-5-7-7 total of 31 syllable structure.
“So, it’s a bit different from Haiku? Don’t you need to be good at classical literature to write them? Fitting things into this odd length looks difficult…”
We’re sure there are many people who think like this, but actually you can write Tanka using the words we use in everyday life. Unlike Haiku, with Tanka the theme can be anything you like, and using classical “seasonal words” (special words to express the seasons used in Haiku) is not a requirement. Even the Tanka poems of kindergarten and elementary school students have been featured in the poetry columns of famous newspapers. So this is one aspect of Japanese culture that anyone can experience and enjoy!
This time, the ICC has invited the traditional university official circle “Waseda Tanka-kai”, which has existed since the Taisho era, to give an online Tanka workshop. First the Tanka-kai members will give a short introduction to Tanka for everyone. Then in small groups participants will be able to write their own Tanka poem while mixing with the members and each other. There will also be a chance for you to hear the opinions of the Tanka-kai members directly after you finish your piece!
The roots of Tanka are found in the era of Waka poetry, where it was customary to enjoy composing poetry together with others, making an “interactive art”. This is a great chance for those new to Tanka to get a first-hand experience of it and make deep new connections with others while composing your own work of art.
2. Workshop – Let’s try composing the Tanka with the theme of “Autumn tradition” –
Date & Time
November 17th, 2020 (Tue.) 4:30pm – 6:00pm
*You can enter the Zoom meeting room from 4:15 pm. If you try to enter earlier than this time you will be directed to the “waiting room”, in that case please wait patiently for the event to start.。
Online (Zoom: URL will be sent to you by email the day before the event)
Japanese (MC and Q&A will be in both English and Japanese)
Required. Please apply via MyWaseda. Click here to register!
Around 30 people. (If there are a large number of applications a lottery will be held to decide participants. Results sent by email on the deadline day.)
November 13th (Fri.) 9:00am
Waseda Tanka-kai has been an active circle since the Taisho era (with a few small breaks along the way). Its current activities are mainly weekly “Uta-kai” (meetings reviewing original Tanka poems), Tanka study groups and a meeting for jointly reviewing for continually evolving works. Every year Tanka-kai hosts an annual summer camp together with other student Tanka societies from all over Japan. Tanka-kai’s official bulletin “Waseda Tanka” celebrates the publication of its 50th issue this year. There are around 40 members currently in the club. Membership is not limited to Waseda students, with others including students from Tokyo University, Keio University, and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
E-mail: [email protected]