The Man'yoshu is a collection of waka poems composed 1,300 years ago, but it has suddenly attracted new attention because of the preface to 32 plum blossoms by Otomo Ryabito, the author of the current Japanese calendar, "2025. The Man'yoshu is a good source to let the world know the cultural maturity and cultivation of the Japanese people from ancient times. This "Plants and Trees Read about in the Manyoshu" includes a list of plants, trees, and flowers mentioned in the Man'yoshu, a ranking of the popularity of flowers according to the number of poems composed, poems about flowers, and one flower each day in spring, summer, fall, and winter. In addition to flower descriptions and photos, the pages of the flowers mentioned in the Manyoshu in the Flowers Illustrated Book include the original text of the Manyoshu, how to read it, and a translation into modern Japanese.
What is the Manyoshu?
The Man'yoshu is the oldest existing collection of poetry in Japan, consisting of approximately 4,500 poems in 20 volumes. About 1/3 of them (1500 poems) are about some kind of plants, and about 166 of them have known flower names. Popular plants are often mentioned in the poems.