Kokiden is one of the Emperor's favorite lovers--she's possibly his wife, though it’s not specified—and she's also one of Genji's most powerful adversaries. Despite the amount of power she holds for much of the novel, she's extremely insecure. As a result, Kokiden works very hard to make her adversaries' lives difficult, as when she's instrumental in driving the Lady of the Paulownia Court away. Though she is forced to accept that Genji is a beautiful and charming child, this also doesn't stop her from attempting to take him down every chance she gets. She successfully navigates her son, Suzaku, to the emperorship early in his life and chooses to not follow the Emperor into retirement. It's unclear what kind of a relationship Kokiden and the Emperor even had to begin with, as she often mocks him when he is sad or upset, especially following the Lady of the Paulownia Court's death. With Suzaku as emperor, Kokiden and her father, the Minister of the Right, effectively rule in his stead. When Kokiden learns that Genji is sneaking around and having sex with one of her younger sisters, Kokiden is instrumental in making it seem as though going into exile is Genji's only option. She also does her best to isolate Genji from anyone at court and specifically, to keep Suzaku from maintaining friendly contact with Genji. Finally, after several years, Suzaku stands up to his mother and calls Genji back to court. Kokiden becomes ill and slowly loses power, and she never fully recovers.