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(linked verse), a genre of Japanese poetry popular in the 15th and 16th centuries. Several poets, generally three, collaborated on a single renga. Each in turn composed a stanza based on images in the preceding stanza. The result was a chain of stanzas in the form of a tanka, but longer, reaching 100 and sometimes 1,000 stanzas. The classical renga was usually a nature lyric. Its composition, like that of the tanka, was governed by strict rules. A humorous renga, the haikai renga, developed alongside the classical renga and was free in choice of themes and images. The three-line hokku, or haiku, originated from the first stanza of the humorous renga.
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