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Renga is collaborative poetry consisting of at least 2 ku (stanzas). The opening one, called the hokku, became the basis for the modern haiku form of poetry, which was established by Masaoka Shiki in the late 19th century. The 2-verse style is called tan-renga ("short renga"). The earliest extant renga, the "Man'yōshū" (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves") was composed ca. 759, probably composed and compiled by Ōtomo no Yakamochi,an imperial counselor and general who was often suspected of involvement in various assassination and rebellion plots. Daijō tennō (retired emperor) Go-Toba established a new Bureau of Poetry at his Nijō palace to conduct poetry contests and to compile the "Shin Kokin Wakashū" (New Collection of Poems Ancient and Modern), which was completed in 1205 and established the renga form consisting of 100 ku. Over time the rules were relaxed, and the 36-ku format permitted the use of slang and Chinese words.
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