Hotaru (The Tale of Genji) (蛍 (源氏物語))

Hotaru (The Fireflies) is one of the 54 chapters of "The Tale of Genji." It is the 25th chapter.

The chapter concerns the month of May when Hikaru Genji was 36.

Around the time of the early summer rains, a letter arrived for Tamakazura from Hotaru Hyobukyonomiya, so Genji had her write a reply. Genji released fireflies behind the screen separating Hyobukyonomiya, who had arrived at the Rokujo-in Palace in high spirits, and Tamakazura, softly illuminating her silhouette. Hyobukyonomiya was deeply attracted to her beauty, which was greater than he had expected, so he sent a waka poem to express his love to her, but she just ignored him. (Due to this episode, Hyobukyonomiya came to be called Hotaru no miya or Hotaru Hyobukyonomiya).

At a festival on the fifth day of the fifth month, many decorative paper balls were sent to Tamakazura. Genji held horseback archery events and banquets at the Natsu no Machi section of the palace and spent the night at Hanachirusato's. Before long, the rainy season arrived, and Genji spent time giving critiques of the tales that Tamakazura was absorbed in, and bothering her with his unending wooing. Around that time, Tamakazura's real father, To no Chujo, was told by a dream diviner that his daughter by Yugao had been adopted by someone else. Never imagining that she lived with Genji, he set out to look for her.

[Original Japanese]