From The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics
apanese poetry has a recorded hist. of approximately 1,500 years, and the art has occupied a central position in the nation's cultural life. While the term Japanese poetry generally applies to verses in the vernacular, i.e., poetry in Japanese, it also refers in its most inclusive sense to poetry by Japanese, incl. that written in Chinese, which until mod. times was the lingua franca of East Asian literati.