Rokujoin (六条院)

Rokujoin (also known as Rokujo no in) can refer to:
A fictitious building that appears in the "Tale of Genji." See below.

Another name of the Rokujo Dairi (the Retired Emperor Shirakawa's temporary court in Rokujo). This was the court of Emperor Shirakawa and Imperial Princess Teishi.

Emperor Rokujo's posthumous title.

The Rokujo estate is a fictitious building that appears in "The Tale of Genji" written by Murasaki Shikibu. It is the residence of the main character Hikaru Genji from his middle years onwards. Later the meaning changes slightly, being used to refer to Genji himself after he is appointed Jun Daijo Tenno (a position equal to that of a retired emperor). The layout was based on MINAMOTO no Toru's Kawarano-in and other real mansions such as the Higashi Sanjo-dono Palace and the Tsuchimikado-dono Palace.


As the name indicates, it stood near Rokujo-Kyogoku in Heian-kyo (Kyoto), and was built in the shinden-zukuri palatial style, covering almost four hectares. The southwest section included the remains of Lady Rokujo's residence. The completion of the building and Hikaru Genji bringing his main wives and children to live there are described in the 'Otome' (Maidens) chapter.

The residence was divided into four one-hectare quarters, each symbolizing one of the four seasons.

The southeast quarter corresponded to spring, the northeast quarter to summer, the southwest quarter to autumn, and the northwest quarter to winter. Each quarter had a shinden (main hall) and several wings, and was separated from the other quarters by a wall. However, the quarters were connected by corridors that allowed residents to come and go between them.

Hikaru Genji, Lady Murasaki and young Princess Akashi lived in the spring quarter. Genji and Lady Murasaki lived in the east wing. (There is also a theory that they lived in the main hall for a while). After the young Princess Akashi entered the Imperial Court and Onna San no Miya, an Imperial Princess, married Hikaru Genji, Onna Sannomiya lived in the west part of the main hall. Whenever Princess Akashi returned home, she would stay in the east part of the main hall. The garden was planted with numerous spring plants and trees and contained high miniature hills and an extremely large pond. The pond continued into the neighboring autumn quarter, and the 'Kocho' (Butterflies) chapter describes ladies-in-waiting coming and going by boat. As the center of the Rokujo estate, the spring quarter is the setting for many opulent events and ceremonies, such as the Toka no sechie ceremony (in the 'Hatsune' (First Warbler) chapter) and the Emperor's visit to the Rokujo estate (in the 'Fuji no Uraba' (Wisteria Leaves) chapter). After the deaths of Hikaru Genji and Lady Murasaki, Onna San no Miya moved to the Sanjo mansion. However, one of Genji's granddaughters, Onna Ichi no Miya (the First Princess), lived in the east wing, and Ni no Miya (the Second Prince) also spent much of his time at the main hall (in the 'Niou Miya' (His Perfumed Highness) chapter).

Hanachirusato and Yugiri lived in the summer quarter.

Later, Tamakazura moved into the west wing. There was a spring in its garden for summer, and the trees were positioned to give it the air of a mountain hamlet. There was also a pond to the south, and equestrian stands and equestrian grounds to the east. The 'Hotaru' (Fireflies) chapter describes a horse race taking place at the ground during the Tango no Sekku (Boys' Day) festivities. After the death of Genji, Hanachirusato moved to the east lodge at Nijo. After that, Ochiba no Miya, who was married to Yugiri, moved there and brought their adopted daughter, Roku no Kimi. The wedding ceremony for Roku no Kimi and Niou Miya were also held here (in the 'Yadorigi' (Ivy) chapter).

The autumn quarter was the home of Empress Akikonomu, and its garden incorporated the miniature hills and other remnants of the garden of Lady Rokujo's residence.

The colored leaves and autumn flowers there were more beautiful than a real autumn field. Not only was the Empress's seasonal reading of the sutra held there every spring and autumn ('Kocho'), the young Princess Akashi's coming-of-age ceremony also took place in this quarter (the 'Umegae' (The Plum Tree Branch) chapter).

The winter quarter is the residence of Lady Akashi.

It is a modest building consisting of two wings placed side by side but no main hall. On the north side, there were rows of storehouses and hedges of pine trees and chrysanthemums. When Princess Akashi gave birth to her first child, she moved there due to katatagae, a practice where people avoided traveling in directions considered to be unlucky ('Wakana' (Spring Shoots), part 1).

Reproductions of the Rokujo estate include those by Takuya TAMAGAMI (with the cooperation of The Obayashi corporation), Seiroku OTA and Kozo IKE. In addition, a one-fourth scale model of the Rokujo estate spring quarter's main hall and east wing (supervised by Kozo IKE) is exhibited at the Costume Museum and a one-hundredth scale model of the whole Rokujo estate is exhibited at the Tale of Genji Museum.

[Original Japanese]