Hashihime

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Hashihime as appearing in the Kyōka Hyaku-Monogatari from 1853

Hashihime (橋姫?) ("the maiden of the bridge"[1]) is a character that first appeared in Japanese Heian-period literature, represented as a woman who spends lonely nights waiting for her lover to visit, and later as a fierce “oni” or demon fueled by jealousy. She came to be associated most often with a bridge in Uji.

Biography[edit]

Very little is known about the origin of Hashihime. The most common interpretation is that she was a lonely wife pining for her husband / lover to return but due to his infidelity, she became jealous and turned into a demon.

Japanese literature[edit]

Hashihime first appears in a Kokinshu (ca. 905) poem, of which the author is unknown:

“Upon a narrow grass mat
laying down her robe only
tonight, again –
she must be waiting for me,
Hashihime of Uji”

Hashihime’s name also appears in Murasaki’s The Tale of Genji, as the title of a chapter. She is also mentioned several times in the waka poems throughout the work.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shikibu, Murasaki; Tyler, Royall (2003). The tale of Genji. Penguin. p. 827. ISBN 978-0-14-243714-8. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 

External links[edit]