Similarities between Genji women and Sprit in Nature Flower Essences – Autumn

Akikonomu, meaning “to love the autumn,” was an adopted daughter of Genji. She was she was so named because she loved Autumn. Her mother, Lady Rokujyo was a former wife of the Crown prince, however he died when she was only 20 years old. Later she met Genji but she loved him too much and suffered from her attachment to him even after she died. Before her death, she gave custody of her daughter to Genji, but she told him not to love her daughter as a lover. Akikonomu later became an empress of Emperor Reizei who was the son between Genji and his stepmother. The autumn palace was used as a homecoming palace for Akikonomu.

Akikonomu loved Autumn because her mother died in this season. Actually, the palace where she lived was originally her mother’s land since Genjis succeeded to it. According to Akiyama, he says that Akikonomu contributed to emphasize Genji’s height of its prosperity. (Note: Akiyama. K.1987. Genji Mnogatari-no Joseitachi, The women in the tale of Genji, Tokyo: Shogakukan) At this time, the noble class of people with Genji’s ambition was to be a maternal relative with royalty. Genji achieved this, and Akikonomu also achieved her mother’s dream that she herself could not fulfill. The Autumn palace and the Spring palace were linked together by a pond. Murasaki and Akikonomu debated which season was more beautiful by exchanging short poems. A little girl crossed the bridge over the pond carrying their written poems or sometime bonsai. (Walking in Rokujyo Place,, Accessed on 1st October 2017) The debate was Murasaki’s victory, however it could be considered that she actually allowed Murasaki to win the game because of Akikonomu’s reserved character.

Her theme is Almond Essence. She was very quiet, moderate and self-controlled. Throughout the tale, she did not have extreme ups and downs, as she was mentally balanced. Her theme is well understood when compared to her mother, Lady Rokujyo. Her mother often showed negative state of Almond when she was in love with Genji. She sometimes appeared as a living ghost when she suffered too strongly with her jealous feelings and in fact killed Genji’s girlfriend and his first wife in his younger days. Lacking in control, excessive, and prone to fits to Lady Rokujyo, still she is not disliked in modern days because women often feel empathy toward her. She was 9 years older than her husband, the Emperor Reizei but they soon became a good couple because they shared a common interest of drawing and viewing pictures.

Even after she married, Genji was in love with her, for she remembered Lady Rokujyo. At this time, he was lonely because Lady Fujitsubo had become a nun, and his illicit love affair partner passed away. Akikonomu ignored him. She even felt a lingering scent of Genji (people in this time did not bathe everyday. They burned incense over their Kimono to conceal their scent. . (Note: Setouchi, J.2008. Genji Monogatari volume 4, The Tale of Genji Volume 4, Tokyo: Kodansya)

Most of the women in the tale loved Genji and of course he knew this. Akikonomu knew Genji was the cause of her mother’s suffering. She never gave birth to a child with Emperor Reizei. Later, he married a young girl, who later gave birth to a boy and a girl. In the book, it is not described in detail whether Akikonomu suffered in this situation or not. She is an important person in the tale, even though the description about her is less than Murasaki, Hanachirusato or Akashi (later described in the winter part).

This fits the Almond theme characteristics, she is conspicuous but inconspicuous. Without her mother, she was completely inconspicuous. However since she was a one of her daughters, she was conspicuous.

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