Oborozukiyo (The Tale of Genji) (朧月夜 (源氏物語))

Oborozukiyo (also called Oborozukuyo) is a fictional character in "The Tale of Genji" written by Murasaki Shikibu. She is also called Roku no Kimi, Ariake no Kimi and Kan no Kimi.


This name (Oborozukiyo or the misty moon) comes from a waka poem composed by OE no Chisato, 'There is nothing like a night in spring with a hazy moon, neither shining brightly nor clouded'. She was nobly born as Roku no Kimi (the sixth daughter) of the Udaijin (Minister of the Right), who had been in power during the reign of Emperor Kiritsubo, and was also Lady Kokiden's younger sister. However, she is a beguiling and uninhibited lady, of a kind that rarely appears in the story.

It was intended that she would enter the Imperial court as the bride of Emperor Suzaku, who was born to her older sister Lady Kokiden. However, she unexpectedly met Hikaru Genji on the night of the cherry blossom festival in the Imperial court. Later, their relationship was exposed and her bridal entry into court was called off. After the death of Lady Aoi, the Udaijin considered marrying her to Genji, but Lady Kokiden was vehemently against it. Regardless, as Genji himself had already married Lady Murasaki, it never happened.

At first she lived in the Tokaden pavilion as the chief of the Joganden pavilion, then she became the chief of Naishi no Tsukasa (the Handmaids' office) and moved to Kokiden (one of the Heian Palace buildings). While receiving the favor of Emperor Suzaku due to her beauty and her modern, fashionable personality, she continued to meet in secret with Genji. Emperor Suzaku admitted that Genji's magnetism outdid his own and did not blame Oborozukiyo. However, it made the Udaijin and Empress Dowager Kokiden furious when the relationship between herself and Genji was exposed, and it was one of the reasons that resulted in Genji being exiled to Suma.

While Genji was away, Oborozukiyo's father, the Grand minister of the state (the former Udaijin), passed away. After Emperor Suzaku abdicated the throne and during the pinnacle of Genji's power, she followed Suzakuin. After Suzakuin became a Buddhist monk, she had intimate relations with Genji once again. However, she ultimately became a Buddhist nun and followed Suzakuin without telling Genji about it, and after this no longer appeared in the story.

[Original Japanese]