In Gotsu, there are five monuments to Manyou Shu (literally, Collection of The Ten Thousands Leaves) which is an ancient poetry anthology, occupying an important place in Japanese literature. The monuments are inscribed with poems from the collection becuase Gotsu has close connections with Manyou Shu.
Manyou Shu is the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry, compiled some time after 759 AD during the Nara period. The collection is customarily divided into four periods. The earliest dates to prehistoric or legendary pasts, from the time of Yūryaku (456–479) to those of the little documented Yōmei (585–587), Saimei (594–661), and finally Tenji (668–671) during the Taika Reforms and the time of Fujiwara no Kamatari (614–669). The second period covers the end of the seventh century, coinciding with the popularity of Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, one of Japan’s greatest poets. The third period spans 700–c.730 and covers the works of such poets as Yamabe no Akahito, Ōtomo no Tabito and Yamanoue no Okura. The fourth period spans 730–760 and includes the work of the last great poet of this collection, the compiler Ōtomo no Yakamochi.
Kakinomoto no Hitomaro was a Japanese poet and aristocrat of the late Asuka period. He was the most prominent of the poets included in the collection. Kakinomoto no Hitomaro was assigned to Iwami province in the early 700s. He married local girl, Yosami Koromoya-musumego (依羅衣屋娘子).
They composed poems each other, and these poems are well known as Iwami Soubunka (石見相聞歌) , romantic poems which became part of the anthology. It is said that Iwami Soubunka is one of his best works in his poems. In Iwami Soubunka, he used some places around Gotsu as Utamakura (歌枕), places which are described in classical Japanese verse
Recently, Gotsu is popular among fans of the anthology
In Gotsu, lots of places still exist from 1, 300 years ago, when Hitomaro was alive. If you are interested in Manyou Syu and curious to visit Gotsu, you can call and book a volunteer guide and enjoy their tour.
20+ people ￥2000
Business hour 9am ~ 5pm
Contact detail (Japanese only)
Gotsu city Volunteer Guide group
〒695-0011 Gotsu-Shi Gotsu-Cho 926-4
JR Gotsu Station Gotsu-Shi Sightseeing Association