Someone near and dear to us, Fujiwara no Aoi hime, was yesterday awarded
a singular honor at the hands of His Most Dread Majesty, Lucan, King of
At His Majesty's court, Fujiwara-dono was called forth to attend His
Majesty's pleasure. Being a proper Heian lady, she could only draw so
close, and told him so... And he understood. He understood VERY well.
The herald then read out a scroll...
A Lost Chapter from A Forgotten Book
On the 26th day of the 2nd month in the 34th year, as a nearby
carillon [the name of the Barony] of bells rang through the air,
7th Dragonclaw Emperor [King Lucan's last name is Drakonklawe]
sat amidst his court, admiring the plum blossoms. "Tell me," he
"which is finer: a branch of blossoms, or a single scented petal?"
Yugiri suggested that nothing goes better with a spring breeze than
a plum blossom.
Ki no Tomonori spoke up, "Who shall judge the colour, the scent of
the plum? Who if not you? The one who knows best knows best."
Several other courtiers offered poems.
Finally Ohashi Katsutoshi [my Laurel] spoke: "The things of the
world mean little to me now. And yet I find myself reaching to
break off heartvine."
The Emperor nodded and said, "The rose plum is heady and
sweet, but I have chosen the heartvine over all the blossoms of
For her elegant and tasteful dress, for her perfect knowledge of
the 1000 classic verses, for her fashionable teeth, and for her
willingness to assist all those less virtuous than she, the Exalted
Dragonclaw Emperor would bestow upon Fujiwara no Aoi-hime his
notice of her excellence, for she is an example to us all, and
gives her permission to wear a red uwagi.
Genji then turned to the screened balcony on which the lady knelt
and said, "Honour us by sharing our blossoms this spring until you
have taken on their hue and fragrance, but wear an orange blossom
for this day."
For those who don't know, the King's Order of Excellence is a rare award
given for those who maintain a high standard of authenticity in their
dress, behavior, persona, and goods, in the feast hall, in their
encampments, and on the field.
For this occasion, I have put my brush to paper (and please excuse the
Agakimi no owasu tokoro wa ikoku ni te hi ga medetashi mo me wo
As my lady is in a foreign land, though the day is glorious my eyes
continue to overflow.
(Okay, she's not MY lady, but hey...)
For Aoi-hime, a big OMEDETOU GOZARU!!