Japan Society of Fairfield County
Articles written by Dr. Ikuko Anjo Jassey

Culture Watch, Society Watch Series
5   6   7   8   9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20

Tanka Series:  Poems composed of 31 syllables
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17 
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     Ikuko Anjo Jassey is currently an adjunct assistant professor of Japanese language and literature at the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Previously a tenured assistant professor at Kyoritsu Women's University in Tokyo, Japan, she moved to the United States in 1993. She is the author of several books, including Yume no Tane[A Seed of Dreams] (Ai Shobo, 2005) and Kokusai Kekkon Yonjunanawa[The Modern Cio-Cio-San: Intercultural Marriages] (Bungeisha, 2000). She earned a doctoral degree from Columbia University.  She resides in Wilton, Connecticut, with her husband.
     The series of her articles under the title "Culture Watch, Society Watch," originally written for the Japan Society's newsletter in which the first four articles appeared, will be concluded with the 20th article.  In its stead, as a new series, she would challenge herself to translate into English her own tanka poems, perhaps seven to ten poems each month.
     Tanka--a poem composed of 31 syllables--has approximately 1400 years of history. It is true that Tanka is not so popular as haiku today. Yet, since the 7th century, it has been attracting many Japanese. The author is one of those people. She started composing tanka poems in 2004. Some of her poems were selected as winning pieces at "Heisei no Utakai" held annually by Sankei Newspaper Company and sponsored by the Ministry of Education for two consecutive years (2006-2007).