Kagero (The Tale of Genji) (蜻蛉 (源氏物語))

Kagero is one of the fifty-four chapters of "The Tale of Genji." It is the 52nd chapter. This is the eighth chapter of 'Uji jujo' (The Ten Quires of Uji), a part of the tale's third section. The title of this chapter was derived from the waka poetry that was composed by Kaoru while he was recalling his relationship with three sisters of Uji. "Aritomite tenihatorarezu mirebamata yukuemoshirazu kieshikagero" (I couldn't catch Kagero (may flies) even though I saw them flying about. When I saw once again, they already disappeared and I couldn't know their destination).

The tale tells of Kaoru who was around 27 years old.

As Ukifune (The Tale of Genji) disappeared, the whole Uji villa was thrown into an uproar. Nyobo (a court lady), who knew about Ukifune's situation, feared that Ukifune might have thrown herself into the Yodo-gawa River. Ukifune's mother Chujo no kimi, who rushed to the scene, was also shocked by the incident and grieved. In order to keep up appearances, her funeral was held on the same night without her remains. Kaoru, who was confining himself at Ishiyama-dera Temple at the time, came to know the incident after the funeral.

In his sorrow, Nioumiya confined himself at his residence under the pretext of illness. When he heard about the incident, Kaoru was confident that the cause of Ukifune's incident was her relationship with Nioumiya and regretted, in sorrow, having left Ukifune unattended in Uji. When he visited Uji, Kaoru came to know for the first time the that Ukifune had thrown herself into the river and consoled Chujo no kimi, who was in deep sorrow, by promising her that he would patronize Ukifune's younger brothers. Kaoru actively organized the Buddhist memorial service after 49 days of Ukifune's death at a temple in Mt. Uji. When he received the offerings from Naka no kimi, Ukifune's stepfather Hitachi no suke (the lord of Hitachi Province) realized for the first time that his stepdaughter's background was beyond comparison with that of his other children.

In summer, Nioumiya began to love another woman in order to forget Ukifune. On the other hand, Kaoru began to long for Onna Ichinomiya (her mother was Akashi no chugu) whom he accidentally glanced at. At that time, she was a princess of the late Shikibukyo no miya (brother of Hikaru Genji/Uji hachi no miya) and was serving for Onna Ichinomiya and was called Miya no kimi. While feeing sympathy for her, Kaoru began to be interested in this nyobo, who was brought up to become the princess of the Crown Prince and Kaoru once had an offer of marriage with her. Be that as it may, Kaoru couldn't forget the princesses of Uji and recalled Oikimi, Naka no kimi, and Ukifune while lazily looking at flying Kagero (mayflies) in the evening.

[Original Japanese]