The "Thirty-Six Immortal Poets" were chosen by Fujiwara no Kinto (996–1075), a Japanese nobleman, scholar, and poet of the Heian period. He compiled a collection of the works of the 36 celebrated writers of waka (31-syllable poems) during the 7th to 11th centuries. From about the 11th century on, poetry and painting contests provided entertainment at fashionable gatherings, and the "thirty-six poets" became a favorite subject in Japanese art. These poets were traditionally portrayed in a dignified manner befitting their aristocratic rank, but in this interpretation they are unceremoniously packed together in a confining space. This engaging screen painting is done in the Rimpa style, emphasizing bold color, simple silhouettes, and asymmetrical compositions. Traditionally, individuality was not a quality emphasized in Japan; even in these "portraits" it is virtually impossible to distinguish who's who among the faces of the poets.