ONE HUNDRED POETS, ONE POEM EACH: A Translation of the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, by Peter McMillan with a foreword by Donald Keene and an afterword by Eileen Kato. New York: Columbia University Press, 2007, 280 pp., with line drawings, $39.50 (cloth)

This is a new translation of one of Japan's most famous poetry collections — one hundred waka (31 syllable poems), each by a different poet, arranged chronologically from the Emperor Tenji (626-671) to the retired Emperor Juntoku (1197-1242). The noted poet known as Teika (Fujiwara no Sadaie) is believed to have edited this collection and its creation is commonly dated as around 1240.

One reason for the fame is its agreed-upon excellence. Another is that it became the basis for the popular card game known as uta karuta. From the Edo Period on, opening and closing lines of each poem were printed on separate cards and the idea was to match the two parts and complete the poems.

Until fairly recently such games were a part of New Year celebrations.