Somon (Love Poetry) (相聞)

Somon is one of the three main poetic categories to constitute the old collection of poetry "Manyoshu" together with Zoka (Miscellaneous Poem) and Banka (Laments). It means keeping in touch with each other by exchanging the words to ask after safety.

It originally meant poems and personal notes and letters of the Chinese classics addressed to a wide variety of people including family members and friends to exchange personal feelings, but in "Manyoshu", poetry about love between men and women was categorized as Somon. Somon is considered equivalent to the category of 'love poems' in imperial anthologies of poetry "Kokinwakashu" and subsequent ones.

[Original Japanese]