Emperor Kiritsubo (桐壺帝)

Emperor Kiritsubo/Kiritsubo-in is the first Emperor in "The Tale of Genji" (the period of reign: from the chapter of 'Kiritsubo' [The Paulownia Court] to 'Hana no En' [The Festival of the Cherry Blossoms]). A fictitious character. Omiya was his sister.
Because he favored Kiritsubo no koi (lower class court lady), he was called 'Emperor Kiritsubo.'
He was the father of Hikaru Genji, the main character of "The Tale of Genji."

He favored Kiritsubo no koi, ignoring other powerful wives, and before long Genji was born, but anxieties made her sick, and she died of disease. Emperor Kiritsubo experienced so much deep grief that those around him could not look on with indifference, and encouraged him to have Fujitsubo (the fourth princess of the previous Emperor), who looked exactly like late Kiritsubo no koi, enter the Imperial court, and he favored her, making her the Empress when she gave birth to the tenth prince (later known as Emperor Reizei). In fact, Emperor Reizei was an illicit child between Hikaru Genji and Fujitsubo, but it is not told in the tale whether Emperor Kiritsubo knew that. His sickness got worse in the chapter 'Sakaki' (The Green Branch), and he passed away when Genji was 23. In the chapter 'Akashi,' his departed spirit appeared, and helped Genji when he was in distress.

An ideal Emperor
It is said that the glorious reign of Emperor Daigo was the model.


Kokiden no nyogo (Empress Kokiden) --- a daughter of Udaijin (Minister of the Right). She is the mother of Togu (crown prince), known as later Emperor Suzaku.

Kiritsubo no koi --- a daughter of Azechi no Dainagon. She lived in Shigeisha, and was loved by Emperor Kiritsubo. The mother of Hikaru Genji.

Fujitsubo --- the fourth princess of the previous Emperor. After the death of Kiritsubo no koi, she entered Imperial court. The mother of Emperor Reizei.

Reikeiden no nyogo (Lady Reikeiden) --- older sister of Hanachirusato. Together with her sister, she was protected by Hikaru Genji after the Emperor's demise.

Jokyoden no nyogo (The Lady of Jokyoden Palace) --- the mother of Shinomiya. She appeared in the chapter 'Momiji no Ga' (The Autumn Excursion).

Nyogo (a high-ranking lady in the court [a consort of an emperor]) --- the mother of Uji Hachinomiya. A daughter of Daijin (Minister).

Goryoden no koi --- She appeared in the chapter 'Kiritsubo.'
Due to Kiritsubo no koi, she was moved to another chamber.

Prince and Princess

The first prince --- Emperor Suzaku
The second prince --- Hikaru Genji
The fourth prince --- Shinomiya
His name was mentioned in the chapter 'Momiji no Ga.'

The eighth prince --- Uji Hachinomiya
He lived in seclusion after he was involved in a political plot to depose Emperor Reizei when he was the Crown Prince. He appeared only in Uji jujo (The 10 Quires of Uji). The father of Uji no Oigimi, Naka no kimi and Ukifune.

The tenth prince --- Emperor Reizei (his biological father was Hikaru Genji)
The Xth prince --- Hotaru Hyobukyo no Miya
He loved Tamakazura, an adopted daughter of Hikaru Genji. He was seen as Onna Sannomiya's possible bridegroom. He was a man of refined taste, doing his duties as a judge in the chapter of 'Eawase' (A Picture Contest) and 'Umegae' (The Plum Tree Branch).

The Xth prince --- Sochi no Miya (a different man from Hotaru Hyobukyo no Miya)
His name was mentioned in the chapter 'Hotaru' (The Fireflies).

The Xth prince --- Kagero Shikibukyo no Miya. His name was mentioned in the chapter 'Kagero' (The Mayfly).

The first princess --- Onna Ichinomiya
Ippon no miya
Her mother was Kokiden no nyogo.

The third princess --- Onna Sannomiya
Sai-in (Imperial Princess appointed to serve the deities of the Kamo-jinja Shrines). Her mother was Kokiden no nyogo.


Zenbo --- the previous Crown Prince
Emperor Kiritsubo's brother
His wife was Rokujo no Miyasudokoro.

Prince Momozono --- the father of Asagao

Omiya --- Onna Sannomiya (the third princess)
Emperor Kiritsubo's sister

Onna Gonomiya (the fifth princess) --- She lived with Lady Asagao.

[Original Japanese]