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.