Hahakigi (The Tale of Genji) (帚木 (源氏物語))

Hahakigi (The Broom Tree) is one of the fifty-four chapters of "The Tale of Genji." This is the second chapter. It follows the chapter of 'Kiritsubo' (The Paulownia Court), but some people consider that once there was a chapter called 'Kagayaku Hinomiya' (The Shining Princess) between them for various reasons.
The title of this chapter came from the waka poems exchanged between Hikaru Genji and Utsusemi: 'I did not know the deceptive ways of the broom tree, so I wander aimlessly in the Sonohara moorlands.' and 'Born in a humble home and crushed by a name, I might like the broom tree vanishing away'
This chapter and the following two chapters of Utsusemi (The Cicada Shell) and Yugao (Evening Face) were called together the 'Three Chapters of Hahakigi.'


This chapter deals with the incidents which probably did not happen soon after the incidents in Kiritsubo, and there seems to be an interval of several years between these chapters, but Hikaru Genji's age was not mentioned in this chapter. The age of Hikaru Genji in this chapter has become clear by counting backwards from his age, 39, which was suggested by the description that 'he will celebrate his 40th birthday ceremony next year' in the later chapter of Fuji no Uraba (Wisteria Leaves), and picking up various descriptions of time going by between them. Such result of the study is called Genji Monogatari Toshidate (chronologies of The Tale of Genji), and the age of Hikaru Genji is generally considered 17 now, which Norinaga MOTOORI concluded in his new chronologies. However, according to the old chronologies which was constructed by Kanera ICHIJO and frequently referred to before, he was 16, and moreover there were theories that he was 15 or 19 other than this.

One night, when an early summer rain was falling, To no Chujo visited Hikaru Genji, who turned 17. Moreover, Sama no kami (Captain of Samaryo, Left Division of Bureau of Horses) and To Shikibu no Jo (Functionary from the Ministry of Rites) joined them, and four people had a chat about ladies (it is commonly known as "rating woman on a rainy night").

To no Chujo told about his common-law wife who bored him a child with the preliminary that it is the best to associate with middle-class women. He said that his legal wife (younger sister of Kokiden no nyogo - Empress Kokiden) tried to annoy her, so she was missing even at that moment (later it is revealed that the common-law wife was Yugao [The Tale of Genji], and her child was Tamakazura [The Tale of Genji]).

The next day, Genji, who visited the residence of Ki no kuni no kami (Governor of Ki Province) in order to avoid traveling in an unlucky direction, got interested in Utsusemi (The Tale of Genji) (later known as the second wife of Iyo no kuni no suke - Assistant Governor of Iyo Province), the middle-class woman whom they were talking about, and slept with her by force on that night.

[Original Japanese]