Kobai (The Rose Plum) (The Tale of Genji) (紅梅 (源氏物語))

Kobai is one of the fifty-four chapters of "The Tale of Genji." It is the forty-third chapter. The chapter is about developments that happen later to the descendants of Tono Chujo (the first secretary's captain) and their relatives.

It is also a nickname for a fictitious character in "The Tale of Genji." The character is also called 'Kobai Dainagon' (Chief Councillor of State). He is the second son of Tono Chujo and Kashiwagi's younger maternal half-brother.

Kaoru, age twenty-four, around spring.

The second son of the late Chiji no Otodo (Retired Grand Minister) (or Tono Chujo) has already become Azechi no Dainagon. After the death of his older brother Kashiwagi, who was a successor to his father, he has been a chief support of the family.

He has two daughters (Oigimi (older sister) and Naka no Kimi) by his lost lawful wife. His present wife is Makibashira, a daughter of Higekuro Daijin, and a former wife of the late Hotaru Hyobukyo no Miya. He had a son (Taifu no Kimi) with her. Furthermore, Makibashira is left with a girl (Miya no Onkata) by her husband's death, and the girl also lives in the residence of Dainagon (chief councilor of state).

Though there are many suitors for the three princesses who finished Mogi (coming-of-age ceremony for girls), Dainagon has already had Oigimi go to the Reikeiden palace in order to make her a consort of the Crown Prince, and is planning to marry Naka no Kimi to Nioumiya this time. Dainagon takes advantage of Taifu no Kimi and tries to set Nioumiya's mind on Naka no Kimi, but Nioumiya questions this and seems to be interested in Miya no Onkata. Though Nioumiya sends letters frequently to Miya no Onkata by proxy through Taifu no Kimi, she is passive and nearly gives up on marriage.

Makibashira, who is busy with acting as a guardian for Oigimi, thinks that it would be a good match for Miya no Onkata, but she hesitates about it considering Dainagon's feelings. Besides, there is a rumor that Nioumiya is lecherous and recently devoted to the daughter of Uji Hachi no Miya (the Eighth Prince), so she has no end of trouble.

He is the second son of Tono Chujo, and his mother is Yon no Kimi, a daughter of the Minister of the Right for Emperor Kiritsubo.
Because he is a main character in the chapter of 'Kobai,' he was later called 'Kobai Dainagon.'
Kashiwagi and Kokiden no nyogo (Empress Kokiden) are his brother and sister.

He is cheerful and clever, having been known for his beautiful voice since he was a child. When he was young, he sang Saibara (genre of Heian-period Japanese court music (primarily consisting of gagaku-styled folk melodies)) and 'Takasago' in front of Genji (Sakaki (The Green Branch)), and other than this he appears at many auspicious occasions such as 'Umegae' (The Plum Tree Branch), 'Fuji no Uraba' (Wisteria Leaves), and so on. After the death of his first lawful wife, he gets married to Makibashira. There was a time when he loved Ochiba no Miya, a widow of his older brother Kashiwagi, and Fujitsubo no Nyogo (a consort of Kinjo no Mikado), and her daughter, Onna Ninomiya. He was Ben no Shosho (Minor Captain), Udaiben (Major Controller of the Right), and then promoted to Azechi no Dainagon in the Uji jujo (The Ten Quires of Uji).

[Original Japanese]