Kashiwagi (The Tale of Genji) (柏木 (源氏物語))

Kashiwagi is the name of a volume among the 54 chapters of "The Tale of Genji." This is chapter 36.
The volume was named after the waka (a traditional Japanese poem of thirty-one syllables) composed by Ochiba no miya, the widow of Kashiwagi (see below) in the story: Although the god of leaves is not in Kashiwagi, is it appropriate to allow people to come closer to the treetop without reason?

This is a common name of a fictional character in "The Tale of Genji."
He was also called 'Kashiwagi emon no kami.'
He was the first son of To no Chujo (Naidaijin - a post for assisting the Emperor and archiving related documents).

Story line

This is a story of Hikaru Genji at the age of 48 from January to April.

Kashiwagi, who was laid up, was prepared to die and sent a letter to Onna san no miya (the Third Princess). Encouraged by Kojiju, Onna san no miya who was reluctantly sent back, Kashiwagi was choked with tears. After that, Onna san no miya gave birth to a baby boy (Kaoru) without trouble, but became drastically weak and pleaded with Suzakutei, who was concerned and privately visited her, to allow her to enter the priesthood,. Genji, who was looking on, quickly tried to hold her back, but Onna san no miya was determined and had Suzakutei cut her hair in the early evening of the day.

Kashiwagi, who came to know that Onna san no miya had entered the priesthood, was driven to despair and handed over the baton to his parents and brothers. His separated wife Ochiba no miya also dissolved into tears. Yugiri became concerned and visited Kashiwagi, and he hinted to her that he had caused resentment of Genji and asked her to mediate. While his brothers lamented, Kashiwagi finally died. Among all, his parents' grief was bottomless and Onna san no miya, who heard that, also felt sorry for them and cried.

In March, a ceremony for Kaoru's fiftieth day was held. Genji, holding up Kaoru and seeing Kashiwagi in the baby's beauty, forgot his anger and cried. On the other hand, Yugiri, concerned about the story behind the story, repeatedly visited Ochiba no miya who became a widow following Kashiwagi's will and gradually became fascinated by her good life.

Personal profile

He was the heir of To no chujo and his mother was the fourth daughter of the Minister of the right of Kiritsubo no mikado. Kobai and Kokiden no nyogo were his brothers. He is an important character in the second part of "The Tale of Genji."

He was an accomplished kikoshi (a young nobleman) and was good at wagon (Japanese harp), kemari (a game played by aristocrats during the Heian period), and fue (Japanese flute). His cousin Yugiri was his close friend. When he first met Tamakazura, he harbored a crush on her and sent letters without knowing that she was his paternal half-sister, but he strongly wished to take an Imperial princess for his wife and eagerly wanted Onna san no miya to marry him. In the end, his wish did not come true and he took Ochiba no miya for Seishitsu (legal wife), but ever since he had a glimpse of Onna san no miya by chance, his feeling of love was irrepressible. He got her a pet cat to comfort himself, but he forced a court lady of Menotogo (the child of a menoto, a woman providing breast-feeding to a highborn baby) of Onna san no miya to help him and realized his desire. As a result, Onna san no miya conceived Kaoru. Genji, who had found the truth, talked cynically to Kashiwagi, and he was petrified and was on his deathbed.

He wished to see Ochiba no miya with his last breath, but his parents who favored him prevented it, and he handed over the baton to Yugiri. After his death, he showed up in Yugiri's dream and hinted that he wanted her to tell his son (Kaoru) when his fue was given to Yugiri as a reminder of him.

[Original Japanese]