"Secret Songs". A collection of folk verse compiled by the Japanese emperor Goshirakawa (1127-1192). The emperor studied popular song with an asobi (prostitute). Many of these verses were an asobi's primary means of entertainment prior to other business and were usually accompanied with a drum.

Fragments of the manuscript were discovered in 1911.

Many of the verses are in what was then called "the modern style" (imayo) with a syllable count of 7-5, 7-5, 7-5.


Some selections:

Was I Born To Play?
Entrust A Letter
Lice At Play

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