It was the first golden age of Japanese civilization. Suddenly, in the eighth century, there appeared the great metropolis of Nara, its broad avenues lined with magnificent temples. Culture rushed in from Korea, from China, and, over the Silk Road, from as far away as Persia. And in this age Japanese literature found its first voice, a clear and powerful one, in the Man'yoshu. Literally The Collection of the Thousand Leaves,' this sweeping anthology, its poets ranging from emperors to beggars, is often considered the pinnacle of Japanese verse. In'