Part 1; Lady Fujitsubo
Starting on Wednesday, January 31st, we will release limited edition items inspired by 'Lady Fujitsubo' from The Tale of Genji on our online shop.
The NHK drama Dear Radiance (starring Yuriko Yoshitaka) depicting the life of the author of "The Tale of Genji," Murasaki Shikibu, has been a hot topic the last few weeks. At Ginza Motoji, we are introducing monthly columns that allow you to enjoy the elegant world and attire worn during the Heian period when "The Tale of Genji" was set.
We will pick up one of the main characters from the story each month and introduce their deep connections with the world of colors, as well as the background of their personalities. Furthermore, each month, we will also announce the sale of limited edition items inspired by the characters.
This month we will be featuring one of the most important heroines of "The Tale of Genji," Lady Fujitsubo. We will delve into her sensational relationship with Hikaru Genji himself.
"The Tale of Genji" is a story where Hikaru Genji is captivated by purple heroines.
Renowned textile and dyeing expert, Yukio Yoshioka, wrote in "The Color Dictionary of The Tale of Genji" that The Tale of Genji can be considered as "A Tale of Purple," highlighting the importance of the color purple within the work. This color, which was regarded as the most noble at the time, not only inspired the name of the author of "The Tale of Genji," Murasaki Shikibu but also holds a significant connection to the important heroines within the story.
To give specific examples, there are three women in the story associated with the color purple: Lady Kiritsubo, Lady Fujitsubo, and Lady Murasaki, each with their unique life stories. However, what they all have in common is that they were deeply loved by the protagonist, Hikaru Genji. In this discussion, we will focus on Lady Fujitsubo, one of the "purple heroines," who played a crucial role as Hikaru Genji's first love interest. Let's delve deeper into who she was.
Hikaru Genji continued to long for his stepmother, Lady Fujitsubo, in search of the resemblance to his late mother, Lady Kiritsubo.
Born as the imperial prince renowned for his intellegance and good looks, Hikaru Genji, the protagonist of "The Tale of Genji," embarks on a series of romantic encounters with various women. However, his upbringing is somewhat complex, and the story unfolds from his early childhood when he loses his mother, Lady Kiritsubo. After the death of Lady Kiritsubo, Hikaru Genji was welcomed by the emperor's court, and it was there that he encountered Lady Fujitsubo, who bore an uncanny resemblance to his mother in her beauty. Lady Fujitsubo, with her refinement and grace, was described in the story as a perfect woman, even likened to the "sun."
Hikaru Genji, missing his late mother, developed an admiration for Lady Fujitsubo as he grew up in her presence. Eventually, he found himself falling in love with her, and their relationship escalated to an affair. Lady Fujitsubo became pregnant and gave birth to a child (later to become Emperor Reizei), but she ultimately chose the path of becoming a nun, breaking off her relationship with Hikaru. Lady Fujitsubo remained in Genji's heart as his eternal ideal woman and unforgettable first love. His pursuit of numerous romantic encounters with other women in the story is deeply influenced by his psychological need to find a replacement for his beloved Lady Fujitsubo.
In January, we will be offering limited edition items inspired by Lady Fujitsubo. These items include an obidome and kanzashi. As a part of the "Poetry of Love" associated with Lady Fujitsubo, we will also include a waka poem that expresses the inner turmoil of not being able to respond to Genji's feelings and the pain it brings to one's heart.
Lady Fujitsubo, Love Waka.
"Will they talk about me in future generations,
my lonely, painful existence,
even if it disappears into an eternal, unending dream?"
■ Obidome, Yearning.
Silver、Urushi (Laquer)、 Pearl Oyster, Crystal ￥66,000
*This obidome is made to accomidate a yonbuhimo (四分紐)
Made in the image of Fujitsubo, this obidome is titled Yearning.
It expresses longing and yearning for something unseen with the radiance of purple clouds and crystals. At the bottom of the crystal, you can see purple clouds created with subdued coloring, creating a discreet and mysterious atmosphere.
This series of kanzashi is created using a base of black buffalo horn. The hairpins feature elegant depictions of wisteria flowers and graceful butterflies, evoking the image of Lady Fujitsubo.
Wisteria and Butterflies￥63,800
Butterflies and Clouds ￥55,000