Tanka 09

written by Masaoki Shiki

Tanka 09

— Masaoki Shiki

two feet tall,
the crimson-budded roses,
their young thorns
tender in
the soft spring rain

About the poet


Masaoki Shiki

Shiki was born in Matsuyama on September 17, 1867 to Tsunenao, a low ranking samurai and Yae the daughter of Oharo Kanzan, a teacher at the feudal clan school. His real name was Tsunenori, but he was called Noboru as a child. Shiki, lost his father at the age of five and Kanzan took over his education and educated him in the Chinese Classics. He was very strict and conservative. Shiki was also influenced by his uncle , Kato Takusen, who later served as a diplomat and the mayor of Matsuyama. Shiki was inspired by the Freedom and People's Right Movement, and in 1883 he went to Tokyo to become a politician, but while studying at the Imperial University, his interest in politics and...

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