Kumoi no kari (雲居の雁)

Kumoi no kari is a fictitious character that appears in "Genji Monogatari" (The Tale of Genji) by Murasaki Shikibu. The name "Kumoi no kari" does not appear in the text, and she was named so by posterity after the episode in the volume 'Shojo (girl)' (Genji Monogatari) in which she hummed 'Kumoi no kari mo wagagotoya (if a goose flying in the fog feels as I do now)' expressing her sentiment after having been forced to part with Yugiri.

She was a daughter of To no chujo (elder brother of Aoi no ue). Her mother divorced early on and became the wife of Azechi Dainagon, so she was brought up by her grandmother Omiya together with Yugiri, who was a child of Hikaru genji and also had Omiya as his grandmother, and due to this they grew to love each other since childhood. As a young girl, she was placid and shy.

In the era of the Emperor Reizei, as the first daughter of the naidaijin (minister of the center) (To no chujo), Kokiden no nyogo, was defeated by Itsuki no miya nyogo (later Akiyoshi chugu) in the competition to become the empress, and so he pinned his hope on his second daughter, Kumoi no kari and hoped to make her become the crown princess. When he learned of her relationship with Yugiri, however, he got very angry and moved her to his residence to separate them. Even after that, however, they continued to exchange letters. After he failed to enter her into court, naidaijin allowed Kumoi no kari to marry Yugiri ('Shojo' (girl) to 'Fuji no Uraba' (Wisteria Leaves)).

Kumoi no kari, who openly became kita no kata (the woman living in the north of the house; wife) of Yugiri and gave birth to many children (The number of children differs by manuscripts, Akio ABE said that they had seven, while Kiyoshi FUJIMURA said eight was the number in the original version), had been spending her days having her mind quite at rest with her husband who was very earnest and faithful to her. Because of this domesticated life style which lacked elegance, Yugiri's affection gradually shifted toward Kashiwagi's widow (that is, the sister-in-law of Kumoi no kari), Ochiba no miya. Upon learning of this, Kumoi no kari became very angry and returned to her parents home with her small children (From 'Wakana' to 'Yugiri'). Finally, Yugiri legitimately married Ochiba no miya and, after that, he visited the residence of Kumoi no kari and that of Ochiba no miya alternately every other day ('Nioumiya'). Little information on her activities after that are given and the last scene with her is a description of her efforts to receive the love of her son, Kurodo shosho in the volume 'Takekawa' (literally, bamboo river).

[Original Japanese]