Yugiri (The Tale of Genji) (夕霧 (源氏物語))
Yugiri (Evening Mist) is one of the fifty-four chapters of "The Tale of Genji." It is the thirty-ninth chapter.
The title of this chapter was derived from the waka poetry which Yugiri composed for Ochiba no miya: 'Evening mists brought melancholy to a mountain village and veils the sky, so I cannot leave now.'
Yugiri is a fictitious character who appears in "The Tale of Genji." He is also called Yugiri no Taisho. He is Hikaru Genji's eldest son (in the eyes of the world). His mother is Aoi no ue (Lady Aoi). Yugiri was named for posterity after the title of the volume in which he acts as a central figure.
Summary of the chapter
Hikaru Genji, age fifty and Yugiri, age twenty-nine, from mid-August to winter.
Kashiwagi's widow, Ochiba no miya, has moved to a mountain villa at Ono in order to chant an incantation to cure an illness of her mother, Ichijo no Miyasudokoro. In around mid-August, Yugiri, who is in love with her, visits Ono on the pretext that he'll call on Miyasudokoro to inquire about her health. Yugiri, who asks her to stay over night under the pretext that the fog is thickening, tells her insistently how much he has loved her for many years. However, his love for her is not accepted, and dawn breaks.
Miyasudokoro, who hears from risshi (Buddhist priest) that Yugiri stayed over night at Ochiba no miya's villa and went home in the morning, forces herself in spite of her illness, to send a letter to Yugiri in order to make certain of the truth. However, his wife, Kumoi no Kari, takes the letter and hides it. Miyasudokoro is waiting for a reply from Yugiri for a long time, but at last she passes away suddenly as a result of excessive anxiety. Yugiri is told about her sudden death and he conducts the whole funeral, but Ochiba no Miya blames him for her death and will not open her heart to him.
Although Ochiba no Miya hopes to stay at the villa and become a priest, her father Emperor Suzaku disagrees with her and sends Yugiri to take her back to the principal residence at Ichijo Palace. Their relationship has been already considered an open secret by everybody, and she is confused by the situation.
Yugiri's foster mother, Hanachirusato, asks for an explanation about the rumor, and after he returns home, he quarrels with his wife, Kumoi no Kari, who is blinded by jealousy. He manages to calm her down, and pays frequent visits to the palace where Ochiba no Miya lives, but she stays inside and will not show herself. Finally, Yugiri forces her to have a sexual relationship with him.
The next morning, when Yugiri returns home, Kumoi no Kari has already gone with her daughter and several young children to the To no Chujo Residence, where her real parents live, and she will not listen to him when he visits her in order to take her and their children back home. Meanwhile, Ochiba no Miya is blamed by her late husband's father, Chiji no Otodo (Retired Grand Minister). Yugiri's concubine, To no Naishinosuke, also sides with Kumoi no Kari, so she is isolated and does not know what to do.
Ochiba' (Noh play, sanbanme-mono (third-category plays), probably created by Zeami)
It is performed only by Kongo-ryu. The play describes the melancholy of widow, Ochiba no Miya, who is puzzled by Yugiri's love and closes her heart to him.
He is the eldest son of Hikaru Genji (in fact, Emperor Reizei is his older half brother by a different mother, but Yugiri does not know the truth). His mother is Aoi no ue. He is a nephew of Tono Chujo (the first secretary's captain), whose children (Kashiwagi, Kumoi no Kari, and so on) are his cousins. According to a dream divination, he is promised to become Daijo-daijin (Grand minister of state). While he is a young noble blessed with good looks inherited from Genji, he is also an excellent government official who is good at reading the Chinese classics.
He was a 'a man of diligence,' in contrast to his father, 'a man of refined tastes.'
Among the fifty-four chapters, he appears in the ones from 'Aoi (Hollyhock)' to 'Kagero (The Mayfly).'
Soon after he was born, he lost his mother ('Aoi'), and he was brought up at his grandmother Omiya's residence.
At the residence of Omiya, Kumoi no Kari, a daughter of the Minister of the Center (To no Chujo), is also taken in, so they are childhood friends and at the same time they nurture the love between them (however, the chapter of 'Otome' (The Maidens) states that 'they seem to be in an intimate relationship,' suggesting that they are already in a serious relationship.)
However, at the age of twelve, around the time when Yugiri celebrates his attainment of manhood, Genji moves him to the east pavilion at Nijo in order to put him in Daigaku-ryo (Bureau of Education under the ritsuryo system) and makes him study, so he cannot often visit the residence of Omiya. Moreover, The minister of the Center, who is planning to make Kumoi no Kari Crown Princess, knows that they are in love with each other, and becomes enraged, taking her into his own residence in order to separate her from Yugiri. Genji puts heartbroken Yugiri into Hanachirusato's hands, making her his foster mother.
However, even after the separation, he has secretly exchanged letters with Kumoi no Kari for six years, and the Minister of the Center finally gives in to him and approves their marriage (Fuji no Uraba (Wisteria Leaves)).
After their marriage, they are living in perfect harmony and have many children, moreover, Yugiri is deeply sincere and has only one concubine, To no Naishinosuke (a daughter of Genji's close retainer, Koremitsu), which was unusual in the period of polygynous practices.
However, later he falls in love with Ochiba no miya, his best friend Kashiwagi's widow, and Kumoi no Kari, getting mad at him, moves from his residence. ('Yugiri' (Evening Mist))
Yugiri, who virtually forces Ochiba no Miya to marry him, visits both Kumoi no Kari and Ochiba no Miya equally at night for fifteen days a month each, and he moves Ochiba no Miya to the Summer-Residence of Rokujo-in Palace, and moreover adopts Roku no Kimi, a daughter of To no Naishinosuke. ('Nioumiya')
From the behavior of Kashiwagi and Genji, he was vaguely aware of a secret concerning his younger brother Kaoru's birth. However, he does not pursue it any further, protecting him for all his life as his older brother, and even thinks of Kaoru's marriage to Roku no Kimi for a time.
Furthermore, in order for his son to avoid committing the same sin as he has done in the past, Genji never gives his son Yugiri a chance to get to know deeply his wives except Hanachirusato, who does not look so attractive. However, Yugiri catches a glimpse of Murasaki no ue only once ('Nowaki' (The Typhoon)), and her beauty is imprinted on his memory and the image of her is hovering before him, and he has secret feelings for her for the rest of his life.
Due to Yugiri's very honest personality, he does not commit the same sin his father Genji did, but when he catches a glimpse of Murasaki no ue on her deathbed, he expresses great admiration for her beauty even in death ('Minori' (The Rites)), wishing that she would have lived longer after Genji died. ('Nioumiya')
He also appears in Uji jujo (The Ten Quires of Uji).
At this time, he is already Minister of the Right. (In the chapter of 'Takekawa' (Bamboo River)), he is Minister of the Left.)
He marries his eldest daughter to Crown Prince, then arranges a marriage between the second daughter and Ni no Miya (Second Prince), and moreover, marries Roku no Kimi to Nioumiya (His Perfumed Highness).