Hatsune (The Tale of Genji) (初音 (源氏物語))

Hatsune (The First Warbler) is one of the fifty-four chapters of "The Tale of Genji." It is the 23rd chapter.
The title was named after the waka poem that Lady Akashi sent to young lady Akashi, 'I'm longing to hear the song of the first warbler after waiting for her growing for a long time.'

During the Edo period, children of those who were well-educated started to learn "The Tale of Genji" from this chapter Hatsune. A national treasure 'the wedding furniture for Princess Chiyo, the wife of Mitsutomo TOKUGAWA, owned by The Tokugawa Art Museum,' which was a piece of the wedding furniture and supplies for Princess Chiyo, the eldest daughter of Iemitsu TOKUGAWA, the third Shogun (she was three-years old at that time, by the old Japanese system), made the chapter of Hatsune the subject matter of their decorations.

The story takes place during the New Year's Holidays when Genji was 36 years old.

To usher in the new year, the Rokujo estate was as beautiful and splendid as if it were the Pure Land in this world. Genji exchanged poems with Lady Murasaki at the spring wing, and celebrated the new year. The young lady Akashi, who had been growing up under Lady Murasaki, received a gift and a poem from her birth mother Lady Akashi. Genji feels sorry for the lady who is not able to even see her daughter. In the evening, Genji goes over to Hanachirusato, Tamakazura (The Tale of Genji) and Lady Akashi to see how they look in the fine clothes he had given them. He stayed with Lady Akashi that night.

On the second day, a lot of high-ranking nobles came over to the banquet for unexpected guests during the New Year's ceremonies, and the young men especially were all on tenterhooks because of the acclaimed Tamakazura. Then Genji looked in on Suetsumuhana (The Safflower) (The Tale of Genji) and Utsusemi (lady of the cicada shell) (The Tale of Genji) at the east lodge at Nijo, and was considerate of his lesser ladies. Toka no sechie (an Imperial Court Ceremony) was held this year, and Tamakazura saw it with Lady Murasaki and the young lady Akashi.

[Original Japanese]