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: 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.
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
...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)
...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)
The Sacred Tree
...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)
...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)