Compiled around 1235, the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, or Ogura's 100 Poems by 100 Poets, is one of the most important collections of poetry in Japan. Though the poets include emperors and empresses, courtiers and high priests, ladies-in-waiting and soldier-calligraphers, the collection is far more than a fascinating historical document. As the translators, James Hadley and Nell Regan, note in A Gap in the Clouds: A New Translation of Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (Dedalus Press, 2020), "these beautiful poems have endured because their themes are universal and readily understood by contemporary readers".
Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing.