Prince Hyōbu is Fujitsubo's brother and Murasaki's father. He desperately wants to be a part of court life and makes this happen first by sending Fujitsubo to court, despite their mother's insistence that she not go. Later, when Genji discovers that Prince Hyōbu is Murasaki's father, he learns that Hyōbu's other lovers would be very upset to have Murasaki around after her mother dies. Though Hyōbu is sad when Murasaki disappears, he makes no real effort to find her and when he presumably discovers years later that Genji had taken her, his lack of a reaction suggests he wasn't all that upset. Prince Hyōbu's desire for power leads him to try to cozy up with Kokiden and the Minister of the Right during Suzaku's rule, which Genji uses to turn Hyōbu into a villain when Reizei is emperor. To punish Hyōbu, Genji keeps him from bringing his daughter to court as a possible wife for Reizei.
Prince Hyōbu Character Timeline in The Tale of Genji
The timeline below shows where the character Prince Hyōbu appears in The Tale of Genji. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Paulownia Court
...the same fate as the Paulownia Lady. When Fujitsubo's mother dies suddenly, however, her brother, Prince Hyōbu , agrees to send Fujitsubo. Her beauty and childlike shyness make the Emperor nearly forget... (full context)
...ask about Murasaki. He learns that the bishop is her uncle and her father is Prince Hyōbu , which explains her resemblance to Fujitsubo—Prince Hyōbu is Fujitsubo’s brother. Genji admits it's a... (full context)
...she doesn't have to live in this terrifying house anymore, but Shōnagon tells him that Prince Hyōbu is going to come for his daughter soon. Genji suggests that both men are strangers... (full context)
An Autumn Excursion
...Fujitsubo. Omyōbu and other ladies in waiting receive him, but Fujitsubo herself won't see him. Prince Hyōbu is there as well. At dusk, Hyōbu goes behinds the blinds to speak to Fujitsubo... (full context)
The Sacred Tree
...Fujitsubo announces her plans to become a nun. This takes the assembly, including Genji and Prince Hyōbu , by surprise. Everyone weeps as she takes her vows and cuts her hair. Genji... (full context)
...plans to bring Akikonomu to his mansion to keep Murasaki company. Fujitsubo is worried, about Prince Hyōbu 's desire to have Reizei marry his young daughter instead, and as such is thrilled... (full context)