Yamabe no Akahito

(700-736 / Japan)

Biography of Yamabe no Akahito

Yamabe no Akahito (700 - 736) was a poet of the Nara period in Japan. The Man'yōshū, an ancient anthology, contains 13 choka ('long poems') and 37 tanka ('short poems') of his. Many of his poems were composed during journeys with Emperor Shōmu between 724 and 736. Yamabe is regarded as one of the kami of poetry, and is called Waka Nisei along with Kakinomoto no Hitomaro. He is noted as one of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals.

The American composer Alan Hovhaness used a text by Yamabe from the Man'yōshū in his cantata Fuji, Op. 182 (1960, rev. 1964).

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From The Bay At Nawa

From the bay at Nawa,
Gazing back upon
The offshore islands
The boats around them
Seem to be fishing

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