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The Tale of Genji – Chapter 25 (Fireflies) – Summary & Analysis
There are several men making advances to Tamakazura, but Genji keeps them away from this child in his care. Genji is eager to marry the girl to someone worthwhile, so he arranges for Prince Hotaru to visit her. Then, when the prince is visiting, Genji carefully orchestrates a way for Prince Hotaru to actually see Tamakazura in the light of fireflies. Of course, Genji’s ploy works and Hotaru is taken with the beautiful woman. Unfortunately, it also throws Tamakazura into even more confusion.
On the second day of our detox course, I followed Okaasama around. We went to a beauty salon, and then a ganbanyoku “stone spa” where we lay on heated stones. At the yoga studio I was ecstatic when the instructor said I was good at it.
Outside of our meals I never saw Maihama-san so things were more or less peaceful.
That night, Madam Kaburagi appeared to have dinner together with us.
I realised while I was eating that although brown rice and other cereals weren’t bad once in a while, eating this every day was a little much. I was thinking about the food when Madam Kaburagi changed seats to talk to me. Uu…
“Reika-san, how are you finding the current course?”
“The course let me grow familiar with natural foods. It has been a very worthwhile two days.”
“I’m very happy to hear you say that. You’re skinny after all, so you don’t need to diet, after all?”
“Goodness, that is not true.”
Thank you for the flattery at least. I know better than anybody what the state of my body is. It was so obviously flattery though that I couldn’t even feel good about it.
I gave her a polite smile.
“How are you planning to spend your summer break, Reika-san?”
“A summer study course at cram school, lessons as usual, meeting up with some friends. Just a few things. Oh, and going on a trip with my family, I suppose.”
“My, that sounds fun. Where are you going this year?”
“My mother is thinking of Austria. She wants to see an opera on the water.”
Okaasama enjoys things like ballet and opera because she loves being immersed in worlds that are beautiful and fantastical. As to be expected from the woman who tried turning her daughter into a bisque doll.
“My, what a wonderful time that would be! I’ve been to see the Seebühne as well, before! It had incredible impact. Do you like opera as well, Reika-san?”
“Whenever we were in Europe, my mother would take us to the theatre if anything she liked was playing. I am ashamed to say that although I enjoyed myself each time I am not very familiar with opera in and of itself. I do understand that I would enjoy it more if I had a deeper understanding, but…”
“Well that’s not true! I think simply opening your heart and enjoying it the way you do is much better than going in there to analyse and evaluate it. Which operas do you like?”
“Although this is quite a mainstream answer, I like The Magic Flute and Lohengrin.”
“You like Lohengrin? Then what about Tristan and Isolde from Wagner as well?”
“It was very passionate.”
“My!” she smiled.
We continued to talk about opera for a while when she clapped her hands together.
“Oh, that’s right! I’m organising a firefly catching event. Please do come! I know you like fantasy worlds so I think you would definitely enjoy it!”
That was a bit… If possible, I wanted to completely refuse. Even now I was only here because Okaasama had half threatened me into it.
I spent some time thinking about how to refuse when Mrs. Kaburagi called out to Okaasama sitting next to me and sealed the deal. Ugh!
“Firefly catching! That sounds wonderful. Isn’t that great, Reika-san? You liked the Tale of Genji, didn’t you?”
“Oh, Reika-san likes the Tale of Genji? Then it sounds like you must become the Tamakazura of the night.”
“My, hohoho,” laughed Okaasama, “Then who would Prince Hotaru be?”
“How about my Masaya?”
“My, Reika-san! How about it? Isn’t that great?”
Without any input from me, the two of them had begun getting excited all on their own. Please give me a break…
And to begin with, Okaasama, when did I say I liked the Tale of Genji? Why did the husband and wife of the Kisshouin family have a habit of suddenly making up lies.
Maihama-san’s eyes were something to behold as she listened to our conversation.
After finishing the 3 day 2 night detox course, we were finally going home today.
Okaasama had been in a terrific mood ever since I received the invitation last night. When we were back in our room she kept whispering,
“Masaya-san’s Okaasama seems to like you, so this is your chance to get close to him.”
like some sort of brainwashing tape, which was scary so I went to sleep with my futon covering my head.
We were gathered in the meeting room to listen to the staff recap the course when Madam Kaburagi appeared, along with her son.
The ladies around me squealed in excitement at Kaburagi Masaya’s sudden appearance.
“Everybody, thank you for the last two days. Today I’m here with my son Masaya.”
“Goodness! We’re overjoyed to meet with Masaya-san!”
The madams began to surround him like housewives swarming a popular Enka singer. Wow, so this was strength of Obasama Power. Even Maihama-san was overpowered by it, meandering here and there outside of the ring of madams. My own Okaasama wasn’t amongst them though. Thank goodness…
Anyway, apparently Kaburagi had been brought here as a reward for them. He was standing there congratulating each one on a job well done.
Hmm. Kaburagi might not have had a shred of courtesy while we were at school, but apparently he behaved like a proper heir outside.
Over the last two days, Akimi-san and I had become really friendly, so the two of us exchanged our email addresses.
Finally freed from the madams, Kaburagi came this way.
“Huh, you’re here too?”
“Just so you know, this course isn’t going to lose you any weight. Exercise.”
Wow, flat-out denying the effectiveness of your own hotel’s course?
“I was simply here to accompany my mother… I was not here hoping to lose weight, you know?”
It was embarrassing so I pushed the blame onto Okaasama. And it was true, anyhow.
“Hmmm. Well whatever.”
If you don’t care, then don’t say it.
“But man, must be rough going on some diet course with your mum even though it’s summer break.”
“It was technically a detox course, though. And did your mother not make you do the same thing, today? It does not seem all that different.”
Maihama-san ran over and shot in from the side.
“Masaya-sama! I’m so glad that I could meet you today! We didn’t get to speak much at the last party. Do you have any plans after this? How about having some tea with me in the loungeroom downstairs?”
“Sorry, I’ve already got plans,” he said disinterestedly.
Despite that, Maihama-san continued to cling to him. Insistent, wasn’t she.
“See ya,” he said before turning around and leaving, all while still trying to get rid of Maihama-san.
Naturally, Maihama-san ran after him. She did remember to stop and glare at me though.
“Yesterday, Reika-san stepped on my foot~” she tattled to Kaburagi/
“Uh huh,” he replied without much thought.
I felt exhausted…
When I arrived at cram school, Umewaka-kun and I immediately discussed when to meet. It was going to be warm, so in consideration of Beatrice we decided on a place with an indoor dog park. We might have just meeting up because I wanted to meet Beatrice, but if we met up alone I was liable to be considered an enemy by Moriyama-san again. That’s why I suggested inviting everyone else along.
Moriyama-san was obviously fine with that. Everyone else seemed like they could come too, which was great. Umewaka-kun began passionately telling everybody about how much he loved his cute dog.
I got the feeling that recently I was hanging around a lot of passionate people… Well, by lots I just meant Mihara-san and Umewaka-kun, of course.
At night I received more lovey-dovey pictures of him and Beatrice, along with an email.
“I’m going to dress up in my favourite ribbon when we meet! How exciting! Do you have any clothes you want me to wear? Bea-tan, is really excited to meet you, Reika-tan!”
Yep, yep, I’m looking forward to meeting you too.
If partially because I want to see this trainwreck couple in person…