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Intro-7 A name-play TANKA

■Introduction of real TANKA(短歌):PART-VII■★A name-play TANKA

(AUDIO/VISUAL TUTORIAL)★Name-play TANKA… examples of Japanese TANKA(短歌) rhymed out so as to include (not necessarily to express or explain) some particular name or concept, generally called “籠め題(kome-dai=theme included)” or “隠し題(kakushi-dai=theme hidden)”: more specifically, “折り句(oriku=acrostic)”, “物名(mono-no-na or butsumei=names of things)” and “離合(rigou=word dismembered)”


■Introduction of real TANKA(短歌) : Part VII■

★Name-play TANKA… examples of Japanese TANKA(短歌) rhymed out so as to include (not necessarily to express or explain) some particular name or concept, generally called “籠め題(kome-dai=theme included)” or “隠し題(kakushi-dai=theme hidden)”: more specifically, “折り句(oriku=acrostic)”, “物名(mono-no-na or butsumei=names of things)” and “離合(rigou=word dismembered)”

●In English, we call it “acrostic”; Japanese TANKA(短歌) calls it “をりく(折り句):oriku”

(an anthem for “torcida mista” ― Portuguese meaning “supporters mixed” ― in 5-7-5-7-7 acronymous English verse)

Mingled together cheering different teams

Impossible to hate respective love of foes

Side by side taking sides

Taking turns in simultaneous wows and woes

Amity grows/enmity goes… amid TORCIDA MISTA

 This is a poetic version of acronym ― “acrostic” in literary terminology, the initial letters of each line being combined to form the term “MISTA”, a Portuguese meaning “MIXED”.

 Terminologically, an acronym refers to a single word composed of the combination of initial letters from several words as in UFO (Unidentified Flying Object); an acrostic refers to its poetic manifestation.

 Although the “mista” in question is a genuine Portuguese that was not the product of an artificial combination of initial letters from several different terms, for the sake of the play of the mind, you could reduce the term down to some imaginary components loosely signifying the whole message of “torcida mista”… in case you still don’t know, let me explain what it means: “torcida mista” is yet another hot Brazilian contribution to the wonders of football world, in which supporters of rivaling teams sit (or stand) side by side in the stadium cheering different teams with due respect to respective enthusiasm for their archenemies. When set face to face against each other from opposing corners of a heated duel, football fans can be dangerously fanatical and hostile to each other. Such destructive animosity can be hoped to subside among “mixed supporters” watching a match sitting “side by side” as opposed to “face to face” alternating between wows and woes as the game goes on.

 The following is an example of possible composing units (words) to complete “MISTA” as an acronym standing for “torcida mista: making supporters of rivaling teams sit side by side in the stadium to help reduce the tension against each other”:






 …Tightly compacted to mean what to do, but too vague about how to do it, don’t you think? It takes some more explaining with regard to “method” in addition to “purpose” of “torcida mista”. But is there any room for such explanation in an acronym?… Good news is, some acronyms are more loosely composed, with some words contained without appearing in the final acronym, such as:


Amplification by


Emission of


 …See “B(by)” or “O(of)” being simply ignored in the combined letters of “L-A-S-E-R”. The combination rule of an acronym is not so laser-sharp as you can see in this example.

 If such redundant composing units are allowed in the formation of an acronym, the “MISTA” in question can also be regrouped in the following manner:

Mixed audience

Instrumental in

Settling the problem of


Animosity in football stadiums

 …A little too fat, to be sure, but also more self-explanatory than “M(anaging) I(rreconcilable) S(upporters) T(oward) A(mity)”.

 If you accept such fat and redundant versions of an acronym, you may also welcome the much more substantial version I offered you above spending as many as 31 words (in 5-7-5-7-7 word format). Such poetic manifestations of acronyms are called “acrostics” in English literature; in the world of Japanese TANKA(短歌), this type of initial-letter word-play is called “折り句(をりく:oriku)”.

 Let there be no misunderstanding: both English acrostic and Japanese 折り句(oriku) are meant just as a word-play, not for explanation, rarely trying in earnest to clearly define the term or concept in question by the contents of the poem itself. The synchronization of the initial letters of each line with the whole concept of the actual poem above resulted not from the requisites of “acrostic” or “折り句(oriku)” but simply from aggressively verbose characteristics of its author “Jaugo Noto(之人冗悟…or should I say 冗語之人:a man with too many words)”; you don’t have to be that much serious in your casual attempt at acronymous poetic hide-and-seek.

●物名(mono-no-na: a name of a thing) is more cryptic and chaotic than 折り句(oriku: acrostics)

 Now, let’s see a Japanese version of “viva torcida mista!”, this time with another type of hide-and-seek in it called “物名(mono-no-na or butsumei):a name of a thing”:

(in 6-8-5-7-7, not 5-7-5-7-7 Japanese syllables)

トルシーダ・ミスタ(torcida mista:Portuguese・・・English:supporters mixed)の心を「物名」にて詠める歌

《Toushindai misetaru kataki zo uchigataki go-etsu-doushuu detente wo en》




とうしんだい【等身大】〔形〕<ADJECTIVE:as large as life, real-life, actual>

みす【見す】〔他サ四〕(みせ=連用形)<VERB:show, reveal>

たり【たり】〔助動ラ変型〕完了(たる=連体形)<AUXILIARY VERB(PERFECT TENSE)>

かたき【敵】〔名〕<NOUN:a rival, opponent>


…Rivals who have shown themselves unmasked



うつ【討つ】〔他タ四〕(うち=連用形)<VERB:attack, beat>

かたし【難し】〔形ク〕(がたき=連体形係り結び)<ADJECTIVE:difficult, hardly possible>

…Quite hard to attack


うち【内】〔名〕<NOUN:inside, in-group>

かた【片】〔名〕<NOUN:one of a pair, a side>

き【貴】〔名〕<NOUN:something noble or respectable>

…A respectable counterpart within


ごえつどうしゅう【呉越同舟】〔名〕<NOUN:strange bedfellows, opponents in queer alliance>



でたんと【デタント】〔名〕<NOUN:detente, loosening of tension between rivaling nations>


う【得】〔他ア下二〕(え=未然形)<VERB:obtain, achieve>

む【む】〔助動マ四型〕推量(ん・む=終止形)<AUXILIARY VERB(VOLITION):will, be going to>

…Let’s ease tension by mingling with enemies


で【で】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(MEDIUM):by way of, on the strength of>

たんと【たんと】〔副〕<ADVERB:substantially, to the full>

おうえん【応援】〔名〕<NOUN:cheer, rooting for>

…Let’s root for respective teams side by side with rivaling supporters


 Have you found all hidden letters in the poem? “呉越同舟デタントを得ん(go-etsu-doushuu detente wo en): let’s reduce tension between foes by mixing them together” and “呉越同舟でたんと応援(go-etsu-doushuu de tan to ouen): let’s cheer respective favorites to the full amid mingled supporters of different teams” are not so much “物名(mono-no-na or butsumei)” as they are “掛詞(KAKE-KOTOBA…homonymous puns)”; for readers of Japanese TANKA(短歌), they are rather easy to detect thanks to the traditional abundance of such homonymous hide-and-seek in Japanese poetry.

 But the fact that the true treasure is hidden behind “等身大見せたる敵(toushindai misetaru kataki… rivals who have shown themselves unmasked)” is hard to see, unless you have it pointed out by someone else (mostly, the author)… yes, “torcida mista(と・る・し・-・だ・み・す・た)” disguises itself as “等身大見せた(と・う・し・ん・だ・い・み・せ・た)”, jokingly challenging you to find me if you can(… of course, you couldn’t, if I didn’t uncover the treasure myself). Due to its evasive nature, 物名(mono-no-na or butsumei) is always accompanied by 詞書(KOTOBA-GAKI:annotation) specifying the hidden letters, although you may still find difficulty in finding them out. Personally, I feel the fun of 物名(mono-no-na) is in the making, not in the finding(… none have I ever found in countless examples of others, I confess). Sorry if you found no fun in finding “torcida mista” in “等身大見せた(toushindai miseta)”; forgive me for the lack of discovering fun in exchange for introducing you to this wonderful new idea of “supporters mixed” by spending the whole poem solely to explain what “torcida mista” is all about… such serious explanatory nature, though, is alien to this frivolous word-play 物名(mono-no-na), I have to remind you.

●Poetic 離合(rigou) = 漢字(KANJI:Chinese characters) dismembered into composing units scattered here and there in a poem

(in 5-7-5-7-7 Japanese syllables)

《Hito no yume hakanaku shite zo miru ou no yume no utsutsu wo tasoya nozoman》





ひと【人】〔名〕<NOUN:other people>

の【の】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(POSSESSIVE):’s, of, belonging to>

ゆめ【夢】〔名〕<NOUN:a dream, ideal>

はかなくす【果敢無くす】〔他サ変〕(はかなくし=連用形)<VERB:ruin, spoil, kill>

つ【つ】〔助動タ下二型〕完了(て=連用形)<AUXILIARY VERB(PERFECT TENSE)>


…After destroying the dreams of other people

みる【見る】〔他マ上一〕(みる=連体形)<VERB:see, visualize>

わう【王】〔名〕<NOUN:the king, ruler>

の【の】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(POSSESSIVE):’s, of, belonging to>

ゆめ【夢】〔名〕<NOUN:a dream, ideal>

の【の】〔格助〕<POSTPOSITIONAL PARTICLE(POSSESSIVE):’s, of, belonging to>

うつつ【現】〔名〕<NOUN:reality, actuality>

….The king’s dreams come true





のぞむ【望む】〔他マ四〕(のぞま=未然形)<VERB:aspire, desire>

む【む】〔助動マ四型〕推量(む=連体形係り結び)<AUXILIARY VERB(SUPPOSITION):will, would>

…Who would ever hope for it?

(in 5-7-5-7-5, not 5-7-5-7-7 English words)

People’s dreams shattered into pieces

On their ruins stand aloft King’s ideals

Beyond ordinary folks’ wildest dreams

Who but the King would ever want

Unshared dreams nightmarishly come true

 I’m sorry to announce that English readers have no share of joy in this Chinese-character-based word play 離合(rigou), but if you are aware how the 漢字(KANJI:Chinese characters) “儚し(hakanashi…fleeting)” and “現(utsutsu…reality)” can be divided into “人(hito…people)+夢(yume…dreams)” and “王(ou…king)+見る(miru…envision)”, then you’ll find some fun in discovering these four(4) composing units consciously dismembered and scattered among the poem.

 離合(rigou) derives from 唐歌(KARA-UTA…Chinese poetry) and is essentially alien to 大和歌(YAMATO-UTA…Japanese poetry, or WAKA:和歌/TANKA:短歌) in that the latter is primarily composed of かな(KANA…Japanese phonetic alphabets) in preference to 真名(MANA=漢字:KANJI, Chinese characters). Where there is no 真名(MANA=Chinese character) used in the poem or imagined in the reader’s head, 離合(rigou) simply goes nowhere.

 I need to remind you once again that 離合(rigou) the ripper dismembers Chinese characters just for the joy of playing on words, without having to reorganize the cut-off pieces of 漢字(KANJI) ― in this case, “人:hito”, “夢:yume”, “王:ou” and “見る:miru” ― to signify their original meanings ― “儚し:hakanashi” and “現:utsutsu”… the reason why this author did that is simply because he couldn’t rest satisfied with empty word play.

 All these three example poems of mine ― 折り句(oriku…acrostic), 物名(mono-no-na or butsumei…names of things) and 離合(rigou…Chinese character dismembering) ― are rather exceptional in that they thirst too much for meanings; you needn’t be that serious in attempting these play on words… nor should you be too frivolous in flirting with them either: you’ll just leave everyone else cold.