Hamamatsu Chunagon Monogatari (The Tale of Hamamatsu Chunagon) (浜松中納言物語)

Hamamatsu Chunagon Monogatari is a tale reportedly written by SUGAWARA no Takasue's daughter, who also wrote "Sarashina Nikki" (Sarashina Diary). It was completed around the middle of the 11th century. It is also called "Mitsu no Hamamatsu."

It is classified as narrative literature of the latter half of the Heian period, born under influence of "Genji Monogatari" (The Tale of Genji). Originally, it was composed of six volumes in total, but only five volumes, excluding the first volume, exist now.


The main theme focuses on the love affairs between Hamamatsu Chunagon, the main character and various ladies; such as a tragic love with Daihime, a daughter of his stepfather, Sadaisho, and then, a love and parting with the empress in Tang (China) where he went to see his dead father who visited his dream and telling him that he reincarnated as a prince of Tang. They are paranormal love stories based on dream visions and Rinne Tensho (all things being in flux through the endless circle of birth, death, and rebirth - the circle of transmigration).

Late in his life, Yukio MISHIMA was strongly attracted by this tale and wrote "Hojo no Umi" (The sea of Fertility) based on the theme of Rinne Tensho.

[Original Japanese]