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The Elegant Tradition of Japanese Poetry

The culture of composing waka was established in the Heian period (794-1185) and it became critical cultural accomplishments for those of noble birth. Eventually, anthologies were compiled. The most famous anthology is the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu or ''One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each.'' The editor, Fujiwara no Teika, an aristocrat and a talented poet himself, worked on this anthology in Arashiyama, on the western side of Kyoto, which has long been regarded as a scenic beauty site and thus a number of poets and artists loved to depict Arashiyama in their works. This month, a must-see exhibition featuring classical Japanese literatures and paintings is being held in splendid Arashiyama.

Elaborate set of Ogura Hyakunin Isshu

Until May 12 (Sun.)
Songs -Teika, Basho & Yumeji-

This special exhibition features four artists related to ''Songs'': Fujiwara no Teika, the editor of Hyakunin Isshu, Matsuo Basho & Yosa Buson as Haiku masters and Takehisa Yumeji, a painter and haiku author.

Various paintings and calligraphy related to ''Songs'' are also exhibited. Experience and learn the various style of Japanese ''Songs'' through the eyes of these master artists.

''Beauty Composing a Poem'' by Uemura Shoen (1875-1949); Around 1941

Waka Poetry, froms the Ogura Shikishi by Fujiwara no Teika; First half of the 13th Century

Saga Arashiyama Museum of Arts and Culture
Admission Adults 900 yen
Open: 10:00-17:00 (last entry 16:30), Closed Tues. *Open April 30 and closed May 8.
Access: A 13-min. walk from Hankyu Railway ''Arashiyama'' Station; Cross Togetsu-kyo Bridge and turn left (towards the mountains).