Selection of One Hundred Poems (Hyakkasen)
Painted by Hayashiya Shōzō I, illustrated by Go'untei Sadahide 1834 (Tempō 5) Tokyo Shiryō Collection 445-4

Selection of One Hundred Poems (<i>Hyakkasen</i>)

According to the prologue, the title Selection of One Hundred Poems (Hyakkasen) was inspired by the two works A Playful Lecture on Hyakunin Isshu (Hyakunin Isshu Odoke Kōshaku) and The Final Scene at the Ogura-yama Pleasure Quarter (Ogura-yama Kuruwa-no Ōzume). These works were in turn inspired by the poetry collection One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets Edited in Ogura (Ogura Hyakunin Isshu).


Hayashiya was generally recognized (including by himself) as the father of Japanese ghost stories. He advertised his talents with an illustration of the permanent Hayashiya Theater at Hirokōji in Nishi Ryōgoku, with the inscription "the original / full-sized props / large scale production / spectral stories by Hayashiya Shōzō." The preface to Hyakkasen states that "every day between 10 a.m. and the evening, no matter what the weather, storytellers come to the theater one after the other to perform tales of long ago and a whole assortment of other stories." Indeed, the book is a collection of long narrations suggestive of the stage at the Hayashiya Theater. The collection includes the original versions of present-day Rakugo narratives such as "Kinmeichiku" (Golden Bamboo; titled Ahō-no Kōjō or "an idiot's statement' in this collection) and "Yajirō", as is notable as a collection of stories by a prominent storyteller of the day.

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