Kiritsubo (桐壺)

Kiritsubo (The Paulownia Court) is one of the smaller houses of kokyu (seven larger houses and five smaller ones which were mainly empress's residences) in the Heian Imperial Palace. The house is formally called "Shigeisa" or "Shigeisha." It was situated at the northeast corner of kokyu, most remote from Seiryo-den Gozasho (living room for an Emperor).

Kiritsubo is the title of one quire of 54-quires in "Genji Monogatari" (the Tale of Genji.)
It is the first quire. This section describes the details of this.

In a certain reign (whose can it have been?) someone of no very great rank, among all His Majesty's consorts and intimates, enjoyed exceptional favor.

Story Line
In a certain reign, there was a lady (Kiritsubo no Koi) not of the first rank whom the Emperor (Emperor Kiritsubo) loved more than any of the others. A radiantly beautiful boy was born between them. But, his often-ailing mother died when the Prince was three years old because of jealousy and bullying from the other consorts and intimates. To console the Emperor for missing his beloved, the former Emperor's daughter (Fujitsubo) made her bridal entry into court. She was a perfect replacement for the late Koi and got the affection of the Emperor. Meanwhile, the motherless child grew up in the home with the Emperor. He especially adored Fujitsubo, because she was the very image of his deceased mother. When he celebrated his attainment of manhood, the Emperor demoted him from nobility to subject and made him marry Aoi no ue (Lady Aoi), a daughter of the House of the Minister of the Left. The Prince was called "Hikaru Genji" (Shining Genji) from the shining beauty of his looks.

The Theory of Later Insertion or Postscript

In this first quire, depicted are the earliest episodes of Genji Monogatari, but this quire is not well connected to the following quire 'Hahakigi' (The Broom Tree). It is one of the reasons why the Theory of Later Insertion or Postscript has been advocated from ancient times by many people and books, including "Genji monogatari kikigaki" (commentaries in the Muromachi period), Akiko YOSANO, Kikan IKEDA, and others. There is a theory which tries to correct the inconsistency between this quire and 'Hahakigi' by presuming that a quire, 'Kagayakuhi no Miya' (The Shining Princess), exists between them.

[Original Japanese]