Chihayafuru is about Hyakunin Isshu karuta, which is all about jisaku-poemu (自作ポエム “self-produced original poetry”). It’s full of that! Yes, jisaku-poemu is what guys write to girls in modern days by email or texting, and girls get kimoi (freaked out) by that. A cyber love letter. So, jisaku-poemu is not something you want to do, a very negative thing, almost as negative as sexting. Utterly unpopular among girls.
Why? Today, sadly, girls aren’t that romantic anymore. They don’t appreciate it. They take it as a meiwaku-meeru (迷惑メール “spam”). Even if a boyfriend does it, they surely think it’s a donbiki (ドン引き “huge turn-off”). In turn, girls in the Heian period had class, but today’s Heisei girls…, that’s why guys are swarming over Love Plus. I once wrote a poem to a girl I had a crush on, but I didn’t receive any reply. And that became the last time I talked to her…
Yes, in the Heian time, there was no internet nor cell phone. And considering the literacy rate at that time, it was well appreciated. So, the Imperial family members, nobility, only those people had a privilege to write poetry, and now as a kid, we all learn their jisaku-poemu! Why not ours! They say, “Oh, the emperor wrote it. Sasuga, it’s so beautiful.” But if I write it, they get freaked out! How unfair! Why doesn’t the world appreciate my originality? They never see aesthetics in my poems? Screw 3-D!
Well, one day I was reading The Brothers Karamazov, and alas! It has the same problem here! Rakitin, a seminary student, writes jisaku-poemu to Madame Khokhlakov, praising her feet. Yes, Rakitin has a foot fetish! But unfortunately she’s dismissive like, “I’m so annoyed by his poems.” Ahh, even in the 19th century Russia! I totally feel for you, Rakitin!
If my poetry isn’t appreciated as romantic as Hyakunin-Isshu is, then instead I’m going to write jigyaku-poemu (自虐ポエム self-depreciating poems). If nobody recognizes how romantic my poems are, I’ll have to resort to jigyaku-poemu as an otaku, or even as a kimo-ota! Let me be The Joker instead of Cyrano De Bergerac! Yes, “God built me for this job!” Like the Killdozer man declared!
Yes, now everyone appreciates Ogura-Hyakunin-Isshu (official name). But a thousand years later, school kids will be playing a karuta based on Otaku-Hyakunin-Isshu. And I have a vision that a Kana-chan figure will explain the story behind my poem to her fellow karuta club members. Thus,