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Kamo Kyokusui no Utage

What is Kamo Kyokusui no Utage

This is a gathering of tanka poets (Tanka is a Japanese poem of thirty‐one syllables).


Poets sit beside a river and flow a sake cup with sake. Each poet has to make a tanka before the cup passes through in front of the poet, and drink sake. The poet serves new sake for next poet and flow the cup again.
There is a description about this event was held in 485 A.D. on March. The next description appears in 701 A.D. But there is no proof that this was held during 486 A.D. to 700 A.D. During Nara period (710-794), this event became popular little by little and it became a fixed event in the end of Nara period.
Normally, this event held in the imperial court but sometimes it held personally.
That can know by the Japan's oldest anthology of poems. The poem which tells us that was made on 3rd of March, 750 A.D. During Heian period (994-1185) it became as aristocrats’ play and social meeting place, too.
They sometimes make river and pond to invite and held this in their house.
Actually, the event is held in many places in Japan by professional poets sitting in front of a river as same as original.
The event can see in Kamigamo shrine and Jonangu in Kyoto.
The first time of the event in Kamigamo shrine was on 3rd of March in 1182. And it officially restarted in 1994 (an anniversary of 1200 years Kyoto) for popular public every year event.


A river calls “Nara no Ogawa” of Kamigamo shrine is the place for “Kamo Kyokusui no Utage”. Poets appear with Heian period costume and when they take a seat, start to give the day’s therm. During the cup flowing in front of poets write their poem. After that the poems publish in front of the people. Unique music makes atmosphere of aristocrats play of at that time. To watch the event, it cost 1000 yen with maccha (green tea) ticket.

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