I was hunting for Japanese podcasts recently and came across the Nippon Archives Man’yōshū podcast. I was surprised when I clicked on it – not only is it sponsored by JR (If you don’t love the JR, I’m convinced you are a miserable, unhappy person), it’s a video podcast that introduces poems from the Man’yōshū. You can watch the podcast, which gets released the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, then read the explanation of the poem on the website. There is a direct transcription of the explanation (an excellent way to check listening comprehension), and you can also click 原典付き詳細解説 to see the modern reading (現代語訳) of the poem and the old school original text (校訂原典) with kanji only. Pretty awesome.
On top of all that you get amazing video of the Japanese countryside with sad Japanese music played over the top. What more could you ask for? Nippon Archives has a few other podcasts worth checking out – a Kyoto-themed podcast about the “24 solar terms,” a Nara-themed podcast about “beautiful Japan,” and a Shizuoka-themed podcast about Mt. Fuji.
I took the image above from Scroll 1, Poem 28 a nice and easy summer-themed poem that many of you should be able to understand.