This is the second volume to be published in the 20-volume set. It includes 114 poems (104 tanka, ten choka), traditionally considered to be the zoka genre, although some of them can be classified as benka, since they deal with death and sorrow. It also contains two poems in Chinese. The volume has several long introductions (all written in Chinese) to the poems that follow. All the poems in this volume were composed between AD 724 and 733, which represents a much greater homogeneity in comparison to books one to four. Most of the poems were written by Yamanoue-no Okura (AD660-733), one of the greatest Man'yoshu poets, who was possibly a Korean from Kudara (Paekche), or at least a descendant of Kudara immigrants to Japan. The spelling system in this volume is predominantly phonographic, with only a few exceptions. In addition, the spelling system appears to reflect Early Western Old Japanese, as demonstrated by Bentley (1997, 2002). The same can be said about its overall grammatical features. (source: Nielsen Book Data)
Man'yōshū; Contents; List of Charts; Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Preface; Introduction; Man'yōshū Book FIFTEEN; Bibliography.
This new translation, the lifework of the author, is fully academically oriented. Given that it is the largest Japanese poetic anthology and thus the most important compendium of Japanese culture of the Asuka period (AD 592-710) and most of the Nara period (AD 710-784), it is very much more than a work of literature, which has been the single focus of previous translations by Pierson and Suga.Thus, in this translation the author has sought to present the Man'yosh to the reader preserving as far as possible the flavour, sounds and semantics of the original poems. The result is a more literate but true translation. In addition, because the realia of the Man'yosh are mostly alien to both Westerners and modern Japanese, the text contains appropriate commentaries that illuminate the context. Also unique to this new version is the appearance of the original text, kana transliterations, romanization and glossing with morphemic analysis for the benefit of specialists and students of Old Japanese. The entire translation will consist of 20 volumes, paralleling the original twenty books. The first to be published is volume 15 (announced here) one of six books written mostly in phonographic script. The author argues that the importance of book 15 lies in the fact that it contains a large number of Western Old Japanese grammatical forms and constructions that are not attested in any other Western Old Japanese text, but are extremely important in understanding this language, thereby providing a valuable foundation for all the other Man'yosh texts, including those written in semantographic text. The publication sequence and anticipated dates of the remaining volumes will be announced at a future date. (source: Nielsen Book Data)