Kocho (The Tale of Genji) (胡蝶 (源氏物語))

Kocho (Butterflies) is one of the fifty-four chapters of "The Tale of Genji." It is the 24th chapter. The title comes from the waka poems, 'a cricket under the grass waiting for the autumn might feel silly about butterflies in a flower garden' and ' I was longing to be invited by the butterflies, if there were not a yamabuki fence there,' to be exchanged between Lady Murasaki and Empress Akikonomu.

The story takes place during the period from spring to summer when Genji was 36 years old.

On March 20 or so, Genji held a concert performed on boats at the spring wing, and also invited the ladies-in waiting of Empress Akikonomu from the autumn wing. At night music and dancing went on and on, and court nobles and imperial princes who came over also joined them. Among them was Hotaru Hyobukyo no Miya (Genji's younger brother), one of the suitors for Tamakazura (The Tale of Genji), and he eagerly pleaded with Genji to marry her.

The next day, there was a reading of the Prajnaparamita Sutra by the empress at the autumn wing, and the court nobles who had enjoyed the concert on boats participated in it as well. Lady Murasaki sent gorgeously dressed young girls to deliver flowers for the memorial service, and exchanged waka poems with the empress.

The summer had come, and letters from suitors such as Hotaru Hyobukyo no Miya, Higekuro (The Commander of the Right) and Kashiwagi (The Tale of Genji) came to Tamakazura one after another. While reading and rating the letters, Genji could not control his attachment to Tamakazura, and one evening, he finally confided his longing for her and lay beside her. Genji restrained himself and nothing more than that occurred, but Tamakazura, who was still innocent, did not know how to deal with these inconceivable romantic feelings from her adopted father.

[Original Japanese]