Course 13Wakaura / Saikazaki


Wakayama City Area, Areas Associated with the Manyo Poems


Wakanoura is where Emperor Shomu (the Emperor who built the Great Buddha of Nara) visited in 724. He ordered to keep an eye on this place so that it will not go to ruin, and the people who accompanied the Emperor’s sightseeing had composed so many Waka poems about this place. The poem that was sung by Yamabeno Akahito “Wakanoura ni shio michi kureba kata wo nami ashihe wo sashite tazu naki wataru”(When the tide comes in and the tideland disappears, the cranes cry in unison and fly towards the reedy bank.) is especially famous. In the Manyoshu, Wakanoura is written as “若の浦” but after it was introduced in the “Kokon Wakashu” in Hiragana, “” (Wakanoura) had acquired the position as a sacred place of Wakas (poems).  In 2017, “Wakano-ura, A Rich Repository of Superb View” was certified as the Nation’s Heritage.

Yasumishishi wago Okimi no tokomiyato tsukaematsureru Saikanoyu sogahini miyuru Okitsushima kiyoki nagisani kaze fukeba shiranami sawaki shio fureba tamamo karitsutsu kamiyo yori shikazo totoki Tamatsushimayama

There is a residence that never changes in the Saigano area of the Emperor whom we serve. You can see the vast ocean in the south of the residence. When you drift your gaze in another direction, you can see the islands stretching out into the coast in a dotted line. When the tide flows and the wind blows, the waves break on the clean, pure beaches of the islands. When the tide is out, people come out to gather beautiful seaweed. Tamatsushima-yama has been noble like this since the ancient times.


Okitsushima arisonotamamo shiohimichi ikakureyukaba omohoemukamo

Right now, the tide is out so I can see the seaweed on the rugged shore out on the islands in the coast. These are soon going to disappear into the sea when the tide flows. It will leave me with a strong impression.


Wakanora ni shio michikureba kataonami ashibewo sashite tazu nakiwataru

When the tide comes in in the Wakano-ura, and the tideland disappears, the cranes cry in unison and fly towards the reedy bank.



Nagusayama kotonishiarikeri agakoru chienohitoemo nagusamenakuni

I thought the mountain will give comfort to me because its name is “Nagusa-yama” * but it was only in name. It didn’t sooth any of my broken heart, not even a piece of my pain I feel inside.

(*the name sounds similar to the Japanese verb “nagusameru” meaning “to comfort someone”.)



Tamatsushima yokumite imase awoniyoshi Nara naruhito no machitohaba ikani

Please do burn the beautiful view of Tamatsushima into your memory. How would you reply when you were asked by your precious one left behind in the city of Nara? (Please, do relax.)



shiomitaba ikanisentoka Wadatsumi no kamiga tewataru amaotomedomo

The fishermen’s daughters are walking without fear across the sandy bank that looks like as if the God of the ocean has reached his hand out. What will they do when the tide comes in?



Tamatsushima miteshiyokekumo ware wa nashi miyako ni yukite koimaku omoeba

I am sure that I would be tormented by my own strong feelings of wanting to see this view of Tamatsushima once again after I return to my city. This is why I am never going to enjoy this spectacular view of Tamatsushima no matter how long I gaze at it.



Wakanora ni shiranami tachite okitsukaze samukiyubeha Yamato shiomohoyu

The sea of Wakano-ura is white with foam at dusk, and the wind blowing from the coast makes me shiver from the chill. I am being sentimental thinking of my hometown; Yamato.

Fujiwara no maetukimi


waga fune no kaji hanahikiso Yamato yori kohikoshi kokoro imada akanakuni

Please stop paddling the oar of my boat. I still have not seen enough of Wakano-ura yet, which I yearned to see for so many years since I was in the city of Yamato.

Fujiwara no maetukimi


Tamatsushima miredomo akazu ikanishite tsutsumi mochiyukamu minu hitonotame

One cannot get tired of looking at this magnificent view of Tamatsushima. How wonderful it would be if I could just wrap up this view and take it back to the city with me! I want to show this view to those who haven’t seen it yet.

Fujiwara no maetukimi


Kinokuni no Saika no urani idemireba amano tomoshibi namino mayumiyu

When I go out to the bay of Wakano-ura, I can see the night being lit up by the fishermen, and the fire on the boats to lure out the fish is dancing and rippling among the waves.

Fujiwara no maetukimi


Tamatsushima isonorami no manago nimo nioiteyukana imomofurekemu

I shall be dyed in white, the white of the grain of sand on the beach of Isonoura at Tamatsushima. I know that my wife would have wanted to touch this sand.



koromode no mawakanora no managotsuchi manaku tokinashi aga korakuwa

Just like the beautiful sand on Wakano-ura, my affection towards you is unceasing.



Wakanora ni sodesaenurete wasuregai hiroedo imo ha wasuraenakuni

according to one theory the last line, “wasurekanetsumo”

I went to Wakano-ura to pick seashells wanting to forget about my unbearable feelings towards her. I picked and picked until my sleeves were soaked wet, but I still can’t forget about her.


 Subsidies for Culture and Arts Promotion from the Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan