Hyakunin Isshu Pilgrimage
I have been playing the card game Kyogi Karuta based off of the poem anthology Ogura Hyakunin Isshu for quite a few years now. While practicing with my teammates one day, I came upon the idea of doing a pilgrimage across Japan to gather 100 shrine and temple stamps, one for each poem/poet of the Hyakunin Isshu anthology. This page will document my journey to accomplish that goal.
What is the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu?
The Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (小倉百人一首) often shortened to just Hyakunin Isshu, is a collection of 100 poems by 100 different poets. It was put together by Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241) in the Kamakura period. Much later, during the Edo period (1603-1867), the poems were printed on cards along with pictures and came to be used to play a card game called Hyakunin Isshu Karuta.
What is Kyogi Karuta?
Kyogi Karuta literally means "competitive card" and is a shorthand name for the competitive card game using the Hyakunin Isshu poem cards. A reader will read the first half of one of the poems, while the players compete against an opponent to be the first to hit the corresponding second half of the card in front of them. It's a fast paced game of memory, speed, accuracy, and endurance. Most people are first introduced to it from the popular anime and manga called Chihayafuru. But it is also popular as a new year's activity across Japan.
Having played Kyogi Karuta for a few years now, I've been looking for ways to deepen my understanding and connection to the poem anthology the game is based on. I've started practicing being a reader for the game, I've created a Dungeons and Dragons campaign based off the poems, and I've been buying and creating kimono outfits based off the poems. But there's one hobby of mine I haven't been able to incorporate with the game yet, and that's collecting shrine and temple stamps. So a plan was formed to collect a stamp from either a shrine/temple dedicated to each poet, or if no such place exists, to find a shrine/temple in the area that the poet lived or wrote about. My hope is that along this journey to collect stamps, I will deepen my connection with the poems and their authors as well.
Post 1: The Plan