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The video clip provides excerpts from a conversation with poet and translator Peter MacMillan. His insights infuse these classics with life, rendering fresh relevance for today.
One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each (Ogura Hyakunin Isshu) is one of Japan's landmark works of literature. This compilation of waka poetry hails from the 14th century, and includes compositions originating as early as the 7th century. The popular companion card game based on the text's poems is familiar to school children and adults nationwide.
Famed Japanologist Donald Keene praised Peter MacMillan as "the premier translator of Japanese literature of his generation," but MacMillan makes clear his humble struggles to communicate both the beauty and original sensibility of these classic texts to readers of modern English.
Peter MacMillan is a prize-winning translator, scholar, poet, and artist. He graduated first in his class from the National University of Ireland, University College Dublin, and then went on to take an M.A. in philosophy and a Ph.D. in English literature. He spent two years as a Visiting Fellow at Princeton, Columbia, and Oxford universities. MacMillan teaches at The University of Tokyo and Tokyo Women's Christian University. A citizen of both Ireland and Britain, he has lived in Japan for about thirty years and strives to be a bridge between Japan and the world. He creates prints under his artist name, Seisai. Peter's translation, One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each (Hyakunin Isshu), was published in 2008, winning prizes in both Japan and the United States. His English translation of the Tales of Ise (Ise Monogatari) was published by Penguin in 2016. He has also published a collection of poetry, Admiring Fields. MacMillan serves as a Councilor of the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan.
One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each <Set B>
1. Peter MacMillan on creating his English version of the classic card game One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each
In this clip, Peter explains the linguistic and artistic challenges involved in making his exceptional English version of the card game One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each, as well as the game's educational value.
2. On relating One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each to current times
Peter provides details on courtly life, love, and marriage in the world of One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each. Ancient love letters reveal surprising similarities to the emoji of today.