Grandmother

This character is Murasaki's maternal grandmother. She appears in genealogies as "daughter of Tomoyasu" and "wife of Tamenobu". Her pedigree is distinguished-both of Murasaki's parents traced their lineage through the poet Kanesuke back to the famous and powerful Fujiwara no Fuyutsugu-but the women's names were not recorded. (This woman's older sister is the real person I have called "Auntie" in my story, the author of The Gossamer Diary.) Following upper class, uxorilocal Heian marriage custom, Murasaki's father visited his bride at her parent's home where she continued to live after the birth of children. (Tametoki would also have had a separate official residence in Miyako.) The effect of this living arrangement was that the mother's family usually had a very strong relationship with grandchildren. When Murasaki's maternal grandfather Tamenobu was appointed governor of Echigo, the grandchildren stayed in Miyako in the care of Murasaki's mother and grandmother. One can easily imagine that when Murasaki's mother was occupied with the birth and care of her younger brother Nobunori, that the child Murasaki would have spent many hours with her grandmother. Through her matrilineal heritage, Grandmother was connected to the Miyaji clan, a family whose hereditary duty included the reciting and preserving of ancient legends.
 
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