- Cypress Pillar
married the black bearded General Higeguro
whose wife was a daughter of Shikibukyo,
a royal prince. Higeguro
had no experience with other women
for a long time. Now he had to visit Tamakazura
at Rokujo, which made him
uncomfortable. Therefore, he decided to redecorate the east wing of his house.
The house was ruined for he did not maintain it well .
The wife of Higeguro
had been beautiful when she was young. But a malign power had made her behavior
eccentric and violent for many years. There was no affection between them. One
evening, it was snowing outside. Higeguro
tried to persuade his wife to accept his new marriage with Tamakazura.
As she seemed to be calmed down, he began to prepare for an outing. Suddenly she
stood up, swept the cover from a large censer, stepped behind her husband and
poured the ashes over his head. A malign spirit had captured her.
The Prince Shikibukyo got angry
because his stepson stayed with Tamakazura.
So he made his daughter and his granddaughter return to his residence. Divorce
in those days was no different from today. She came back her to her home with
furniture that she brought in when she married. Women who lost their jobs went
away separately. Higeguro’s
favorite daughter Makibashira
was reluctant to go with her mother. She set down a poem on a sheet of paper and
thrust it into a crack in the cypress pillar, writing not to forget her.
was assigned apartments on the east side of the palace. Higeguro
continued to stay in the guard’s quarter. He wanted her to withdraw from the
court immediately. When she was wondering how to reply to a poem from Prince
Hotaru, the emperor came calling. He was unbelievably handsome and the very
image of Genji. He reproved her for having gone against his wishes. She did not
wish to seem coy. Higeguro
was restless knowing that the emperor had called on Tamakazura.
Resumed by Mary Nagase.
Published by UNESCO.© UNESCO 2000