Waka poems recommended for New Year's cards *Example available!

“December” is a busy time even if you are not a teacher. There are so many things to do, such as year-end parties, Christmas, and other events, as well as cleaning and preparing for homecoming...

New Year's cards come at such times.

Audio distribution of this article “12th Recommended Waka Poems for New Year’s Cards”
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It wasn't until the Meiji era that this uniquely Japanese greeting card became popular among the general public. In 1899, special handling of New Year's mail began as a measure against the concentration of mail at the end of the year, and in 1949 postcards with New Year's gifts began to be issued.

Since then, the number of New Year's cards issued has increased explosively, reaching a peak of 4.4 billion in 2003. However, the number of New Year's cards has been decreasing recently, and it is said that the number of New Year's cards issued in 2022 will be 1.8 billion, but even with this simple calculation, this means that each person will be sending less than 20 New Year's cards.

“Issuance and sale of New Year’s postcards, etc. for 2022 (Reiwa 4)” (Japan Post)

I can only imagine how difficult it must have been in the days when dozens of New Year's cards were handwritten. In fact, in the past, instead of being busy with year-end events, the whole family would sit under the kotatsu and enjoy writing together.

Now, computers and smartphones support busy modern people. Once you have created your address book, all you have to do is print it using the ready-made template. Ah, how easy it is. Thank you, innovation!
but. When I welcome the new year in a good mood and look at the New Year's cards from my friends, I feel a little sad...

"New Year's card template"
We wish for others to at least give us one stroke.

This year, let's put ourselves in the position of receiving it and write about it.
If you're having trouble finding anything to write about, there's a waka poem for you! That's why I chose some waka poems recommended for New Year's cards from the Kokin Wakashu.

The first thing I recommend is this one from the ``Okadokoro Oka.''
1069 “At the beginning of a new year, it’s time to pack up the fun for the thousand years.”
Happy New Year! Let's pile up fun (fun trees) for a thousand years ahead!

[Model New Year's card with this song]

role model(PDF)download

By the way, a song similar to this one is included at the end of the Manyoshu. Since this is an excerpt from the Kokinshu, I won't go into depth, but I will introduce it for your reference.
4,516 “The healing auspicious event of the snow falling today in early spring at the beginning of a new year” (Otomo Ieyamochi)

→“Get to know the representative songs, style, selectors, and history of Manyoshu!

Next is from ``Kaka'' from the Kokinshu. Many Japanese songs celebrate longevity, and this auspicious message is perfect for New Year's cards.
352 “When spring comes, the first plum blossoms to bloom at the inn will be seen under the umbrella of Chitose” (Ki Tsurayuki)
356 “If you think that in the shadow of a thousand years, you will be able to rest in the shadow of a thousand years, I will congratulate you on the pine tree.” (Sose Hoshi)
357 “The heart that celebrates the world while gathering young greens in Kasugano is divine” (Sose Hoshi)

Furthermore, from ``Shunka''. A beautiful scene of the new year spreads out.
2 “The sleeves are closed, and the water is falling, and the spring weather is shining, and the wind is dazzling” (Ki Tsuneyuki)
4 ``Spring is here in the snow, and the tears of the bush are falling, and now I'm dazed.'' (Yomito Shirazu)
6 “When spring begins, I look at the flowers and see the snow-covered branches, and there are no grasshoppers” (Sose Hoshi)
13 ``Let's hold up the scent of flowers in the wind, and send it to the bushes that will attract the grasshoppers.'' (Ki Tomonori)
21 “For you, out in the spring field, Tsumu Wakana, snow falling on my clothes” (Kokoin)
24 “Time changes, the green pine trees come, and when spring comes, Hitoshiho’s colors change” (Minamoto Souyu)

If the person you are speaking to is familiar with waka, why not try some of these waka poems?
456 ``From this morning onwards, the waves are looking like spring and Aratamaramu'' (Kiyoyuki Abe)
This is a ``mono-mei-uta'', and ``karakoto'' is included in ``karakoto''.

If the relationship was such that both parties were cracking each other's bones, what would a waka poem like this look like?
8 “I feel like the light of the spring sun is shining on me, but I feel like I’m turning into some snow” (Yasuhide Bunya)
28 ``Even though spring is full of things, I will go on my own'' (Yomijin Shirazu)
The irony of age is mixed with a smile.

If you're embarrassed to write love letters, why not take this opportunity to send some love into your New Year's greetings?
542 "When spring begins, there will be no trace of ice left, and your heart will melt into mine." (Yomijin Shirazu)
596 “As the years pass, I have thoughts that cannot be forgotten, but the sleeves of the night are still dry” (Tomonori Ki)
605 "With the touch of my hand, I can move on to the moon and the sun, and I can't go to bed at night." (Ki Tsurayuki)
684 “Spring haze, the cherry blossoms on the waving mountain, I see them, but they are dark. I wonder if you have them too” (Ki Tomonori)
747 “No moon, no spring, no spring of the past, let my body be as it was” (Narihira Ariwara)

It's only 31 characters of miso.
Let's save up one stroke (I tell myself)

(Written by Uchida Engaku, a poet)

Learn the basics of waka poetry and try reciting it!

We are holding a "Utajuku" with the goal of learning from representative classical works and being able to compose traditional "Waka" on an individual basis!

季刊誌「和歌文芸」
令和六年冬号(Amazonにて版販売中)

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