Main definitions of tanka in English

: tanka1tanka2

tanka1

noun

  • A Japanese poem in five lines and thirty-one syllables, giving a complete picture of an event or mood.

    • ‘An exquisite lyricism informs her maturing vision and technique as she distills emotion into ever more restrictive forms: sonnets and ballads, tankas and haikus.’
    • ‘Once my students achieved success with these tasks, I would surprise them by reading aloud samples of haiku, as well as other formula verse, such as tanka and cinquain.’
    • ‘Like their European counterparts samurai themselves were expected to be practised in the fine arts including poetry, composing five-line verses known as tanka when not actually fighting.’
    • ‘Above all, her fine pieces of poetry show, as do classic Japanese haiku and tanka, the unity and harmony of all things, the sensibility that human beings and nature are one and inseparable.’
    • ‘The tankas render the space of the land that you're actually seeing there; in the tankas it's rendered conceptually, in a way that has to do with Tantric Buddhism.’

Origin

Japanese, from tan short + ka song.

Pronunciation:

tanka

/ˈtaŋkə/

Main definitions of tanka in English

: tanka1tanka2

tanka2

noun

  • A Tibetan religious painting on a scroll, hung as a banner in temples and carried in processions.

    • ‘The museum will house a collection of 1,200 Tibetan tankas and sculptures in the old store in Manhattan.’
    • ‘Tanka came in a variety of sizes and were often painted on cotton or silk.’
    • ‘Ten tankas, one of the most representative art forms of Tibet, will be included in the exhibition.’
    • ‘Scroll paintings called tanka that depicted the various gods and saints of Lamaist Buddhism decorated every temple.’
    • ‘Among Tibetans, Harada is so highly revered for its purifying attributes that it is the small fruit that is depicted in the hands of the ‘medicine Buddha’ in their sacred paintings or tankas.’

Origin

From Tibetan t'áṅ-ka image, painting.

Pronunciation:

tanka

/ˈtɑːŋka/