From the same set of five prints as no. 9, 'The Fifty-four Chapters of the Tale of Genji', represented here is Chapter 2, Hahakigi (The Broom Tree), in which Genji pursues a lady called Utsusemi. She rejects his advances repeatedly, however he persists and ends up spending the night with her. In this print Genji is depicted parting from her at dawn. She sits dressed in sumptuous robes decorated with maple leaves, looking out over a veranda onto a garden. The poem at the upper left reads:
Kazu naranu fuseya ni ouru no no usa ni aru ni mo arade [arazu] kiyuru hahakigi
Pitiful its fame, that by a worthless hovel it should have grown: here for a moment, but no more, the Broom tree vanishes from sight.
For the poem translation, see Doris G. Bargen, Mapping Courtship and Kinship in Classical Japan: The Tale of Genji and Its Predecessors, (Hawaii, 2015), p.112
Hahakigi (‘broom tree’) is a plant from which brooms were made. In addition, the plant had the poetic reputation of being visible from a distance yet disappearing as one approached. The use of the word as the title of the chapter alludes to the relationship between Genji and Utsusemi, who has frustrated him by making herself inaccessible.
Other ukiyo-e artists depicted the same scene including the same poem. A woodblock print with hand-applied colour and metallic pigments by Nishimura Shigenaga (1697?–1756) produced about 120 years earlier, is in The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accession no. 11.19131, go to: MFA Nishimura Shigenaga Genji Hahakigi