Murasaki no ue (紫の上)

Murasaki no ue is a heroine in "The Tale of Genji," a classic written by Murasaki Shikibu. She is a fictitious character.

Initially she is called Murasaki no kimi, but once she becomes Hikaru Genji's wife she is called Murasaki no ue.
Though the name of Wakamurasaki is used in the title of the fifth chapter, the name doesn't appear in the chapter but only appears in "Murasaki Shikibu Diary", 'When FUJIWARA no Kinto got drunk, turning up around the place where Shikibu was supposed to be, and asked, 'Is my Wakamurasaki there?''
Commonly, Wakamurasaki refers to Murasaki no ue in her infancy.
The name 'Murasaki' came from a poem on miscellaneous matters in the Kokin Wakashu (imperial anthology of old and new Japanese Poetry): 'Because of this one gromwell plant, I feel affection for everything on Musashi Plain.'
It implies that she is a relative of Fujitsubo (Murasaki no yukari), Hikaru Genji's 'eternal woman.'
Additionally, 'ue' suggests that she is Genji's legal wife, being treated as such by Genji and other people, but there was never an official announcement of marriage.

Her father is Hyobukyo no Miya (later called Shikibukyo no Miya, and a son of the Emperor Kiritsubo's predecessor), and her mother is a daughter of Azechi (inspector of the provincial government) no Dainagon (Major Counselor). She is a niece of Fujitsubo. She appears in the chapter of 'Wakamurasaki,' and remains a part of the story until the chapter of 'Minori' (The Rites).

Her father Hyobukyo no Miya rarely visited her (due to pressure from his legal wife), and her mother died soon after she was born, so she was brought up by her grandmother, Kitayama no Amagimi (a nun).
According to her great-uncle, Sozu, ten years had passed since her mother's death before she was found by Hikaru Genji, who had visited Kitayama to receive medical treatment
Genji falls in love with her at first sight because she looks exactly like Fujitsubo even though she is young, and once he learns that she was a niece of Fujitsubo, he becomes increasingly attached to her. After the death of her grandmother, she is supposed to be taken in by her father, but Genji takes her to his residence Nijoin and brings her up to become his ideal woman without telling anyone who she is ('Wakamurasaki'). Genji has their first sexual relationship with her after his first legal wife Aoi no ue passes away, and after that she is treated as his legal wife ('Aoi' (hollyhock)). She remains with Hikaru Genji, except during the time when he is driven away to Suma.

Her father, Hyobukyo no Miya, is finally told after Murasaki no ue is treated as Genji's wife that his missing daughter had been under the care of Genji. At first Hyobukyo no Miya gives welcomes Genji, but when he lives in seclusion at Suma, Hyobukyo no Miya does not support Murasaki no ue because he feared the power of the Udaijin (Minister of the Right). Consequently, Genji treats Hyobukyo no Miya coldly after he returns to the capital. Because Murasaki no ue is childless, Genji adopts a baby daughter of Akashi no Onkata for Murasaki no ue, and has her raise the child to be the future Empress ('Usugumo' (Wisps of Cloud)). Once Empress Akashi enters the Imperial Palace, she raises Onna Ichi no Miya and San no Miya (Nioumiya) who were children of the Empress and she particularly loves Nioumiya, leaving Nijoin to him in her will.

She was loved by Hikaru Genji the most as his beloved wife all along, but she was often jealous of Akashi no Onkata, who bore Genji a child, and was upset when a rumor circulated that Asagao and Genji were getting married. However, after she moves to the spring section of Rokujoin Palace, she is considered Genji's legal wife both in name and actuality, being called 'Haru no ue' or 'Kita no kata,' and she is praised for her beauty and kind-heartedness, of which she is proud. Because she has no children of her own and no powerful guardian, she is shocked when she learns that Emperor Suzaku's daughter, Onna San no Miya, is going to get married to Genji, and she realizes how vulnerable she is. However, Genji doesn't notice the concern of Murasaki no ue and the difference in their feelings for each other gets bigger and bigger, and at the age of 37 which is considered a critical age for a woman, she falls seriously ill because of anxiety ('Wakana' (new herbs)). Later she moves to the Nijoin residence in order to receive medical treatment, and sometimes mentions that she wants to become a nun, but she dies before Hikaru Genji of an illness without being allowed to become a nun ('Minori'). Genji, who had depended upon her to be perfect, realizes the secret agony and loneliness she felt, and as a result he mourns her death for more than a year ('Maboroshi' (The Wizard)).

[Original Japanese]