Is the layout of this text supposed to resemble a style of poem?

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While playing a Japanese video game, I became curious about the layout of these book pages that appear each time you finish a chapter of the game.

enter image description here

The text of each page summarizes one of the chapters, and is laid out in six lines. Each line contains 13 characters, grouped together into 4-4-5 character long units, resulting in a column-like look.

For example, the first two lines read,

そだって あばれた ガソリンゴ

なんとか たおした いのちがけ

Since the form is so schematic I thought this might be modeled to be a kind of Japanese poem. Knowing next to nothing about Japanese poetry, I researched the Wikipedia article on the topic, but couldn't find anything that would correspond with this scheme.

Is the layout of this text supposed to be reminiscent of a form of poetry, or is it more likely to have been made up by the writer?

waldrumpus

Posted 2015-12-28T21:34:08.270

Reputation: 1 139

Answers

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Yes, this 4-4-5 (or 4-4-7) rhythm has a nice ring (語呂がいい) to the ears of Japanese. Nicopedia even maintains a list of words which happen to have such 4-4-5 beats.

Kitahara Hakushu's あめんぼの歌 is one of the best-known poems which uses this pattern throughout the lines. The lyrics of the theme song of 水戸黄門 (video; full lyrics) follow this 4-4-5 pattern.

オリエンタルラジオ is a comedy duo that uses this 4-4-5 (or 4-4-7) beats in their bits (video). You can hear that their punch lines basically follow this rhythm:

4-4-5

Nicopedia says this pattern can be called 七五調【しちごちょう】, but I'm not sure about that, because 七五調 usually refers to the 5-7-5 pattern of haiku/waka.

naruto

Posted 2015-12-28T21:34:08.270

Reputation: 199 900

Hearing this, I'm pretty sure I've heard similar songs in the past and wondered about the peculiar meter. – waldrumpus – 2015-12-30T10:28:24.600

Your link to あめんぼの歌 is broken. However, you appear to be referring to what I've seen (published) as a poem titled 五十音. I have reproduced this poem in this answer.

– Earthliŋ – 2017-01-25T13:11:10.747

As for the explanation for 七五調, what Nicopedia says is correct rather than this post. – user4092 – 2017-08-05T12:16:09.850