Yokobue (The Tale of Genji) (横笛 (源氏物語))

Yokobue (The Flute) is one of the fifty-four chapters of "The Tale of Genji." This is the 37th chapter. It describes how the yokobue (flute) which was treasured by the late Kashiwagi passed into Hikaru Genji's hands.


It is a story about Hikaru Genji, age 49.

The first anniversary of Kashiwagi's death came. Kashiwagi's father, To no Chujo (the first secretary's captain), who did not know behind-the-scene circumstances, thanked Genji for his condolatory call and felt sadness again.

A bamboo shoot was sent to Onna Sannomiya (the Third Princess) by Emperor Suzaku, who lamented a series of misfortunes happening to his daughters such as Onna Sannomiya's becoming a nun, the death of Ochiba no miya's husband. Genji held Kaoru, who bit the bamboo shoot with his new baby teeth, looked back on his life so far, and paid attention to Kaoru's young, but noble countenance.

One autumn evening, Yugiri (The Tale of Genji) visited Kashiwagi's widow, Ochiba no miya. On his way home, Ochiba no miya's mother, Ichijo no Miyasudokoro, sent Yugiri the yokobue that Kashiwagi left. Kashiwagi appeared in Yugiri's dream that night, telling that there was somebody else whom he wanted to hand the yokobue to.

Subsequently, Yugiri, who visited Genji, saw Kashiwagi's face in Kaoru, who was playing innocently with the children of young lady Akashi. Then he told Genji about Kashiwagi's last words and the dream, but Genji just said that he would take charge of the yokobue, and changed the subject.

[Original Japanese]