Utamakura (Japanese歌 枕) in Japanese literally means " Uta- cushion" or figuratively " poem - pillow " is a rhetorical concept of Japanese poetry.


" Uta " refers to a poem in Japanese waka tradition. " Makura " literally means "pillow ". In the literary tradition of the word on makurakotoba Waka (Japanese枕 词) is to play. This term refers to a word that contains a reference to another object. The allusion, however, remains incomprehensible if the reference to the Uta makura is unknown. In another context, is meant by " Makura " the source or reason for opening a conversation.


The term refers to a place or a list of places that are traditionally admired for their special beauty, attractive landscape for or in memory of a person or an event. Traditionally, poems are written in this Utamakura, poets undertake journeys of " Gedichtort " to " Gedichtort ". As a list of places that are in the succession of the great poets " migrate ", the term has received a mocking - fashioned meaning.

Utamakura are often places that had a special meaning for the Japanese imperial family:

  • Shinto shrines, Buddhist shrines
  • Locations of historical events
  • Places that awaken by a pun associations.

An example of a Utamakura the Machikaneyama. The name of this mountain literally means " mountain, waiting long ." In the Japanese poetry of this mountain is associated with the expectation of the moon rising.

In the mid- Heian period it became fashionable to play on old poems; Place names in these traditional poems were often Utamakura. In the late Heian period, the poet monk Noin presented the Utamakura in " Utamakura nayose " ( Digest of Uta makura ) together.

Utamakura in haikai poetry

Utamakura were also used in haikai no renga renga and in the classic precursors of haiku poetry. In a Renga should thereby included in each Hokku ( 5- 7-5 - Silbiger verse ) the first line of a seasonal word ( kigo ). The Japanese poet Matsuo Basho countered that a verse in which a Uta makura occurs, should contain no allusion to the season, so that the images would not be too confusing. Matsuo Basho is also the author of the most famous collection of poems for Uta makura, the Oku no hosomichi.

  • Literature (Japanese)
  • Poetry