The Tale of Genji

Oborozukiyo is one of Kokiden's younger sisters. Genji meets her after a party one night; he discovers her door open, rapes her, and tells her that it's useless to fight him as he always gets his way. She maintains a degree of power by initially keeping her name from Genji; he refers to her in the novel as “the lady of the misty moon” because of the imagery on a fan she gives him. At a party several weeks later, however, the two reconnect and Genji learns who she really is. The two conduct a relationship off and on, though it doesn't turn into a problem until Kokiden raises Oborozukiyo's rank and brings her to court for Suzaku, who is by this point emperor. After this, the Minister of the Right discovers Oborozukiyo and Genji in bed together, and this leads to Genji's exile. Though Oborozukiyo and Genji exchange notes throughout the exile, it's implied that she doesn't allow their sexual relationship to resume when he returns. However, she does remain fixated on Genji; Suzaku comments on this and reminds her that if she's to have a child with Genji, the baby would be a commoner and therefore, would give Oborozukiyo herself less political capital.

Oborozukiyo Quotes in The Tale of Genji

The The Tale of Genji quotes below are all either spoken by Oborozukiyo or refer to Oborozukiyo. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Tale of Genji published in 1976.
The Festival of the Cherry Blossoms Quotes

"It will do you no good. I am always allowed my way. Just be quiet, if you will, please." [...] Though of course upset, she evidently did not wish him to think her wanting in good manners.

Related Characters: Genji (speaker), Oborozukiyo
Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:
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Oborozukiyo Character Timeline in The Tale of Genji

The timeline below shows where the character Oborozukiyo appears in The Tale of Genji. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Festival of the Cherry Blossoms
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Nature, Poetry, and Beauty Theme Icon
...that near Kokiden's pavilion, there's an open door. Genji slips in with a mysterious woman (Oborozukiyo). Genji catches at her sleeve, frightening her, and lifts her down to the gallery, closing... (full context)
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
After he leaves, Genji reasons that Oborozukiyo must be one of Kokiden's younger sisters. He thinks through the sisters, of which there... (full context)
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
The Parent-Child Relationship Theme Icon
...Murasaki, who is surely lonely since he hasn't visited in days. Genji also thinks of Oborozukiyo's poem and jots a reply on his fan. Then, he reasons that comforting Murasaki is... (full context)
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
Nature, Poetry, and Beauty Theme Icon
Oborozukiyo is very sad. Her father, the Minister of the Right, wants to give her to... (full context)
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Nature, Poetry, and Beauty Theme Icon
...He grabs one woman's hand and mentions that someone stole his fan, an allusion to Oborozukiyo. The woman doesn't show any sign of recognition. Genji takes the other lady's hand and... (full context)
Heartvine
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
The Parent-Child Relationship Theme Icon
It comes to Kokiden's attention that her sister Oborozukiyo seems to be pining for Genji. The Minister of the Right isn't particularly upset about... (full context)
The Sacred Tree
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
...the procession leaves for Sanjō. Genji grieves into the new year. In February, Kokiden appoints Oborozukiyo to be the wardress of the ladies' apartments and gives Oborozukiyo her former pavilion. Genji... (full context)
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
Genji and Oborozukiyo continue their romance and one evening, she invites him to her chambers. Near dawn, Genji... (full context)
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
...to court to call on the Suzaku Emperor. Suzaku is aware that Genji is seeing Oborozukiyo but doesn't see any reason to caution him in the matter. They discuss all manner... (full context)
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Nature, Poetry, and Beauty Theme Icon
Because of the climate at court, Genji stops writing to Oborozukiyo. Eventually, she writes him a poem expressing her sadness that he hasn't visited. He replies... (full context)
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
The Parent-Child Relationship Theme Icon
Nature, Poetry, and Beauty Theme Icon
Oborozukiyo begins experiencing malaria attacks and so goes to spend time with her family. As she... (full context)
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
The Parent-Child Relationship Theme Icon
The Minister of the Right lifts the curtains again and sees Genji in Oborozukiyo's bed, half undressed. The minister angrily leaves and Genji fears that this will cause quite... (full context)
Suma
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Nature, Poetry, and Beauty Theme Icon
...Murasaki's wing of the house. He sends parting notes and gifts to his lovers, including Oborozukiyo, who writes back that she's crying about all of this as well. (full context)
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
The Parent-Child Relationship Theme Icon
...Genji thinks often of Murasaki, Reizei, and Yugiri. He sends letters to Murasaki, Fujitsubo, and Oborozukiyo. In her grief and loneliness, Murasaki takes to her bed, making her serving women fear... (full context)
The Parent-Child Relationship Theme Icon
Oborozukiyo spends her days feeling upset. The Minister of the Right attempts to help her and... (full context)
Channel Buoys
The Parent-Child Relationship Theme Icon
...the two become fast friends. As the date of his abdication approaches, he worries for Oborozukiyo. He tells her one evening that he knows she prefers Genji, but he doubts that... (full context)
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
...in his remodeled house with the Lady of the Orange Blossoms. He also writes to Oborozukiyo professing his love for her, but she refuses to communicate with him. (full context)