Iroha is a Japanese poem that is roughly 1000 years old. It was originally written in an older writing system (Man’yōgana) that many Japanese people now cannot read. The poem has deep and complex links to Kobo Daishi, as well as Japanese language, culture, and religion. There are a number of different translations in English but much of the poem is lost in translation.

On one level “iroha” is based on observing and writing things down but there is obviously much more substance to it than simple basic observation. A researcher may also observe and writing things down but an effective analysis of the poem will required a considerable amount of additional research and thought.


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