Rokujyo-in: The Rebirth of the Spring Palace


Genji became the Grand Minister when he was thirty-three. He decided to refurbish the mansion belonging to Rokujyo-no-miyasudokoro, who became a mistress of Genji when he was seventeen.
The Rokujyo-in was built using a portion of that mansion. Normally, plots of land provided members of the nobility measured 120 meters square. The Rokujyo-in was four times larger than this, measuring 63,500 square meters. Genji plotted the land into four sections each having a palace and a garden that were named and designed for one of the four seasons: the Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter Palaces. Murasaki-no-ue occupied the Spring Palace (following Murasaki's death, Onna-sannomiya occupied it); Hanachirusato lived in the Summer Palace, Aki-konomu-chugu in the Autumn Palace, and Akashi-no-kimi in the Winter Palace. Genji began work on the Rokujyo-in when he was thirty-four and finished it a year later.
Of course, The Tale of Genji is a fictional story making it impossible to replicate the building. Nonetheless, the rich imagination of Murasaki Shikibu creates a mansion that acts as stage on which the wealthy aristocracy emerge to act out their respective roles.
The furniture, costumes, dolls, and other items displayed in the scaled homes were recreated based on research conducted by the Costume Museum, numerous reference material, and under the supervision of Dr. Ike Kozo, a professor in the Department of Technology at Chubu University.
The scenes presently being exhibited includes a coming of age ceremony in which a daughter of Genji, Akashi-no-kimi, wears for the first time a kimono signifying this new stage in her life. One of the scenes shows Genji looking on while Aki-konomu-chugu places Mo(detached long skirt) of Akashi-no-kimi. This and other appropriate scenes are recreated in the exhibition.

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Participants from The Tale of Genji
that are presently being shown in the exhibition.


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Doctor Ike Kozo
Doctor Ike Kozo was born in Tokyo in 1935. Graduating from the First Department of Science and Technology, Architecture Course of Waseda University in 1959, Dr. Ike Kozo joined Taisei Corp. Presently he is a professor at Chubu University, Doctor of Technology. He has written numerous books concerning architecture, both modern and of ancient Japan.