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Sōga (早歌)

A form of music from the middle ages. Sōga is a style of full-length song perfected by the Priest Myōkū during the Kamakura era that was popular among court nobles and samurai until the Momoyamaera. The lyrics are essentially based on the seven-and-five-syllable meter, with occasional variations, and sung at a fast pace without accompaniment. Sōga strongly influenced the performing arts of later generations, including Noh. To honour Buddha, there were many prayers for good luck and protection from evil. Themes for Sōga were taken from waka, stories or places of historic and scenic interest, with comprehensive travel accounts featuring related words and word play, displaying a refined and classical taste. Sōga was also known as "Geniya-saba" or "Riri-ura," and from the late Edo era "Enkyoku."

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