Summary

 


Genji, now 22~23 years old.
Two years had passed and in this time the Emperor (Emperor Kiritsubo), Genji's father, had abdicated to be succeeded by his elder son Prince Suzaku, the Crown Prince of the Togu Court. The boy born to Lady Fujitsubo (Genji's son) now assumed the titles of Head of the Togu Court and First Crown Prince. Princess Kokiden, as mother of the new Emperor, became Empress Dowager while her father, the Minister of the Right, took over greater political control.


As was customary with an imperial succession, the High Priestess positions at Kamo Shrine and Ise Shrine also had to be changed. Each title was usually transferred to an unmarried princess within the imperial family. The honour of Ise High Priestess fell on the daughter of a former (now deceased) Crown Prince. The mother of this girl was the Rokujo Lady (Rokujo-no-miyasundokoro) who, being ever conscious of her less-than-secret relationship with Genji, decided it would be prudent to leave her unfortunate reputation behind and join her daughter in moving to Ise.


The Kamo Shrine appointment went to the former Emperor's third daughter, sister of the new Emperor Suzaku, and a magnificent festival parade was planned. On the day of the event, the grand Ichijo Highway was in chaos as spectators, wagons and noble carriages competed for the best vantage positions to enjoy the procession. Although not feeling well in her pregnancy, Genji's wife Aoi-no-ue was persuaded by her people that watching a fine parade might be a pleasant diversion. So accompanied by her Sanjo retinue and all its carriages her hefty attendants joined the throng that was jostling through the crowd for prime positions. Unfortunately their efforts were so rough that they caused some damage to a modest carriage already parked. Even more unfortunately was that the carriage belonged to the Rokujo Lady who had discreetly turned up in hope of catching a glimpse of Genji. Her carriage damaged, she was exposed and humiliated for all to see. In abject misery she fought back the tears.


The misery festered into a grudge against Aoi-no-ue that was later manifested in the form of a living spirit. The spirit came to haunt her and the tormenting escalated so much that, soon after giving birth to her child, a baby boy (Yugiri), she could take it no longer and suddenly died. The Sanjo family and Genji were thrown into despair. It was not until many weeks later, after the 49th day memorial service for his late wife Aoi-no-ue, that Genji at last returned to his Nijo Residence. His young love, Wakamurasaki (Lady Murasaki-no-ue), had been growing fast and was now a beautiful young lady. So much so that it was now that Genji consummated the relationship.

 

See also the following discussion from a Valparaiso core course.