When we think about the differences between modern tanka and classical waka, we can think of various key points such as title and meter, but I think the fundamental difference lies in the ``realism.''
Waka poetry is, so to speak, ``fictional literature.'' It is natural for a man to become a woman and vice versa, and it is not uncommon for a great aristocrat to pretend to be a poor farmer and compose a poem, and the content is about flowers and experiences that are not in front of our eyes. It is a literary art in which stories of love are expressed in song using conventional methods, and in other words, lies are the norm. The reason behind this is that waka poems were composed at social gatherings of aristocrats.
Modern tanka, on the other hand, was born in response to the ``boringness'' of waka poetry, so it takes a 180-degree turn from ``fiction'' and insists on ``realism.'' This is a piece of literature that expresses a thorough introspection of the "self" that we live in.
However, the ``reality'' of this modern tanka feels somehow false to me. I wondered why, and I think it lies in the ``literary language'' in which the poems are combined. ``〇〇 Shiori'', the sentence that was delivered in a tone that sounded really naughty. The elegant words, which I am completely unfamiliar with, approach me with a smug look on my face.
This is not to say that the grammar and prosody of modern poets are lacking, but rather that the literary language itself has now been destroyed.At least as a reader, I strongly feel this when I read Tanka.
I believe that a ``literary world'' was established for a while after the war. No matter how much Japan began to modernize after the Meiji period, the daily landscape of life, religion, and surrounding nature still remained a ``literary world.'' This was probably already gone by the end of the Showa era, and modernization had been completed, meaning that the ``literary world'' had disappeared. However, since his predecessors who actually knew the ``literary world'' were still active, the younger generation believed that the ``literary world'' naturally existed and had no doubts about it, and both poets and readers accepted this belief.
However, in the Heisei and Reiwa eras, the ``literary world'' became a complete fiction. This is partly due to the passing away of our predecessors, but I think it is more to do with the growing separation between the generations who still remember the ``literary world''.
In other words, the younger generation has no indirect experience of the ``literary world'' through their predecessors, and has no real experience of it at all; for them, the ``literary world'' has become the height of fiction, a fairy tale garden. However, modern tanka poets compose songs under the illusion that literary language is still alive and that literary language and art can be established, so the 31 characters reek of nonsense. .
This is extremely problematic for modern tanka, which is supposed to have reality as its overriding theme, but by using literary language, it has become contradictory in that it lacks reality.
Therefore, I think it is natural that the ``colloquial tanka'' of today is a natural development, but what do you think?But isn't tanka, a literature of 31 characters, a literature that can only be achieved by its prosody? Don't the realism songs of the Kyogoku school also have beautiful language and become songs?
“At sunset, the willows on the hill lose their shadow on the moss of the rock, and the autumn breeze blows.” (Eifukumonin)
A song without literary language, that is, without a metrical metric, is not really a song.
(That's why "haiku" is haiku.)
In short, a tanka that lacks reality and literary language is no longer a song. I would like to say that modern Tanka is no longer functioning properly.
Also on Twitter. Real, compressed texts are no longer handled by Tanka, but by a tool called Twitter. If you think about it that way, I think that contemporary tanka is in even greater danger.
I would like young people in particular to think seriously about what modern tanka should be, regardless of generation or group.
*The following words by Kunio Tsukamoto may be a hint for future tanka.
"Nowadays, it is almost unthinkable to write a novel in the same style as The Tale of Genji or The Tale of Ugetsu, so the style of writing tanka is extremely bizarre and cannot be described as a poem of absurdity. . Tanka is created now, and it is imperative that it become a classic. In other words, the contradiction is what makes it glorious, and no work of art can bear the burden of glory as it is.”
``If novelty is the first criterion for determining value, tanka will be the first to be disqualified.However, if beauty is the first criterion, excellent tanka will never be disqualified; It is precisely because of this that Tanka has survived and will continue to survive.'' (``Style Illusion Theory'')
(Written by Uchida Engaku, a poet)
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