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At the shrine

KYOKO ADANIYA-BAIER

TANKA

1)

oomisoka kagaribimaitobu keidai ni
imoto to susuru atsukiamazake

Bamboo torch sparkle
at the place of the shrine
where my little sister and I
drink (hot) sweet rice wine

2)

Mangetsuno  hikari kagayaku natsuzorani
jasuminnioite nakichichiomou.

In the radiant full moon
of the summer sky
jasmine scent
and the thought of my deceased/departed father

A genre of classical Japanese verse from the Heian period, 'tanka' meaning short poem. Tanka consists of five units (often treated as separate lines when translated) usually with the following mora pattern: 5-7-5-7-7.
The 5-7-5 is called the kami-no-ku ("upper phrase"), and the 7-7 is called the shimo-no-ku ("lower phrase"). Tanka is a much older form of Japanese poetry than haiku.




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