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Rhyme hasn't had much presence through the history of Japanese poetry, so you can say that Japanese poetry is virtually built on blank verses. The underlying meter of traditional Japanese poetry style, or 和歌 (waka) is, as @user4092 has pointed out, the repetition of 5-7 cycles based on quadruple measures. The word 短歌 (tanka; 5-7-5-7-7) literally means ...


The 5-7-5 pattern is musically perceived as 5 quavers, 3 eighth rests, 7 quavers, one eighth rest and 5 quavers, making the 4/4 rhythm. example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lps7EaIPEAA

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