Sunday, December 04, 2016

New Year Poems

Imperial Palace, Tokyo - It was an old custom in Japan that every year in the middle of December, the Empress set the themes for the New Year Poems which had to be made out of 31 syllables and had to be based on pre-defined topics, e.g., “Spring rain at the coast”, or “Which family has blooming plums in their house". Any Japanese citizen was invited to create such poem, and in case of prizewinning, it had been announced both in the Imperial Palace as well as in the news papers. The picture here, made in the 1930s,. shows the judges for the poetry competition in traditional dress.

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