In the summer palace, a lady called Hanachirusato, meaning “village of falling blossoms,” lived. She was given this name because when Genji visited her, the orange blossoms were falling in her garden. Orange has the meaning of hope. This particular orange, originating in Japan, is called Tachibana. It is different kind of citrus that Spirit-in-Nature Essences, and it helps us feel that this scene is surrounded by hopeful energy as if it celebrates Genji’s visiting. Hanachirusato was the younger sister of Lady Reikeiden, one of the concubines of late Kiritsubo (Genji’s father) and Genji’s casual love relationship partner before.
He did not meet her for long time, but she never complained but she was very happy that Genji visited her again. She appears in Chapter 11 of the tale for the first time, which is a very short chapter in all the 54 chapters. Later in the book, she would become a very important person in the tale. The writer Lady Murasaki depicted Hanachirusato’s appearance as unattractive and featureless, but Genji felt very much at ease with her. (Note: Setouchi, J.2008. Genjimonogatari volume 2, The Tale of Genji Volume 2, Tokyo: Kodansya) The summer palace was positioned for the second wife, which means she was a very important person to Genji. (Note: Wakashiro. K.1992. Genji Monogatari Tono Taiwa, dialogue with the tale of Genji, Tokyo: TokyoShoseki K.K)
Hanachirusato was actually a sort of career woman at that time. She excelled at sewing, dying the Kimono, and she also educated Genji’s son Yugiri and an adapted daughter called Tamakazura. In fact, Genji asked her to educate Yugiri not only because she could be trusted but also because she was not attractive. Since Genji had an affair with his beautiful stepmother, he was afraid that if Murasaki would take care of him, he would love Murasaki. In some aspects, Genji was rude, but Hanachirusato was very happy to accept Genji’s offer. She was a hard worker, just as the summer essences are related to accomplishing tasks. Genji described her as reserved, peaceful, and quiet in character, which never changed since her youth. (Note: Setouchi, J.2008. Genji Monogatari volume 4, The Tale of Genji Volume 4, Tokyo: Kodansya) Genji trusted her very much, and their relationship was more like good partners than a love relationship. Hanachirusato knew her appearance was not beautiful. Genji’s son Yugiri wondered why his father loved this plain-looking woman. However, she also knew that beautiful people suffered over why Genji couldn’t love only one special person.Seeing things from others perspectives, she had disadvantages. Yet Hanachirusato herself never worried about her situation. Not as strong as her theme essence of Fig described in the next paragraph, she possesses the Strawberry qualities of dignity and self-worthiness.
Hanachirusato’s theme is Fig Essence. While other women were always afraid of the situational change of Genji’s love relationships or their position as time went by, she lived with the attitude of “go with the flow”. She welcomed their coming. She truly loved Genji but did not have a strong attachment to him and never asked him to love her more. People with Fig for their theme essence have the positive quality that they do not have should’s” and “have-tos’. Hanachirusato never thought her husband Genji should love her deeper than anyone else.
Unlike other women in the tale, she was not jealous of them being around Genji. She was happy when she met him, but she was also happy without him. She accepted her destiny. She never compared herself to other beautiful women. Instead, she expressed her theme’s character very well. Throughout the tale, she was always flexible and fluid, feeling happiness with the things around her at the moment. As Genji was a busy person with his job and concerned with many women, he had less time for quiet moments. If he were alive now in the real world, he would be the CEO of multiple companies with many relationships. While in the company of Hanachirusato, he spent his time relaxing, because she could wash away his tiredness with her Fig energy. Her sub-theme is Banana because she was a good listener and verbally abstemious. She was also modest as her Kimono’s color was always bluish, not pink or red. When Genji was sad, she sensed his feelings and simply sat side by his side and listened while he spoke without saying anything. She was a good consultant for the women in the palace, too. She was an attractive person, not only for Genji but also for the women.