The Naniwa-zu (Waka [a traditional Japanese poem of 31 syllables] composed by Wani) (難波津 (和歌))

The Naniwa-zu no uta (waka of Naniwa-zu Port) appears in the Kanajo (Japanese preface) of Kokin Wakashu (Collection of Ancient and Modern Poems) as 'the poem written on the emperor of Osazaki' composed by Wani (Wang In).

After the death of Emperor Ojin, Prince Uji no Waki-iratsuko and Osazaki no Mikoto (Prince Osazaki) tried to convince each other to ascend to the throne, but it lay vacant for three years.

In the end, Osazaki no Mikoto acceded to the throne and became Emperor Nintoku, and this poem is said to have been composed at that time to pray for prosperity in his reign.

As the kanajo says of this poem, alongside the poem of Mt. Asaka, 'people who practice writing with a brush will start from this,' it was a poem traditionally used by those starting the study of calligraphy. In fact, together with a shusho mokkan (a wooden tablet used for writing practice) unearthed from the ruins of Kannonji in Tokushima Prefecture, likely a product of the seventh century, and which had 'Naniwa-tsu ni Sakuya kono hana' (奈尓波ツ尓昨久矢己乃波奈, On the Beach of Naniwa, the flowers bloom) written upon it in Manyo-gana (a syllabary used in the Manyoshu [Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves]), many wooden tablets with this poem written on it have been unearthed from ruins all over the country.

In the Heian period, the 'Naniwa-zu no poem' was considered as the epitome of 'a poem which everyone knows.'
In karuta (Japanese playing cards) tournaments, people have a custom of intoning the Naniwa-zu no uta before starting the competition.

The flower here is regarded as ume (plum) blossoms, not as cherry blossoms.

Naniwa-zu ni/Sakuya Kono Hana Fuyu-gomori/Ima wa haru-be to/Sakuya kono hana (After lying dormant all winter, the blooming plum blossoms are blazoning now that the spring has come.)

[Original Japanese]