Chapter 2 of The Tale of Genji
The Broom Tree
Summer of Genji's 17th year.
One rainy night Genji and his brother-in-law, To-No-Chujo discuss the various types of women they have known in their amorous adventures. To-No-Chujo puts forward three categories of women, according to social class, which Genji disputes. They are joined by friends, one of whom, trying to curry Genji's favor, suggests that there might be a beautiful mysterious woman hidden away somewhere because her family has fallen on hard times.
Genji falls asleep, while his friends discuss various types of women, all of which will make an appearance later in the story.
Later, Genji visits his wife, Aoi at her residence (Sanjo), but she is cold and dismissive. Unable to return directly home because of some religious portent, he is invited to stay at a friend, Kii-No-Kami's house.
Kii-No-Kami's father has recently married a young woman who Genji overhears talking about him. He also meets a handsome young boy, Kogimi, the young wife's brother.
Encouraged by her earlier remarks, he slips into her room when everyone is asleep and spirits her off for
'a dreamlike encounter'.
Leaving in the morning, he takes Kogimi into his service and uses him as his messenger to send love poems to young Utsusemi (as she becomes known as later), the wife of his friend's father. He sends many letters but the woman is unresponsive. He tries to meet her again but she brushes him off. His response is a poem about the inhospitable broom tree.