Guide The Disaster of the Third Princess: Essays on The Tale of Genji

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  1. Religion in the World of The Tale of The Heike
  2. The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu | LibraryThing
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When Kaoru discovers where she is, she refuses to meet him; the story abruptly ends there. Genji cannot resist, so he disguises himself and arranges a secret meeting through her maid, Ukon.

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Unlike To-no-Chujo, however, Genji is attracted by this gentility, and resolves to take her away. Unable to resist, and very frightened, Yugao is rushed off with Ukon to a deserted mansion. He tries to wake her, but she is no longer breathing. Genji panics, wakes Ukon and Koremitsu, but it is too late, she is dead. Koremitsu sends Genji back to his palace at Nijo and takes her body to a nunnery in the eastern hills for funeral rites.

At Nijo, Genji is unsettled by recent events and cannot appear at court. The chapter end with a final poetic exchange with Utsusemi, whom Genji also loses. After you have finished, quote at least five examples of the use of imagery and symbolism in Part I. Genji was suffering from malaria. He took four or five attendants along to visit a sage in the northern hills.

He was a most accomplished worker of cures. Then a pretty girl of perhaps ten ran in and complained to the nun in a weeping voice that Inuki had let her baby sparrows loose.

Historical context

That was the first time Genji saw the Murasaki-no-Ue. It was still dark when Genji made his departure, going his word that he would come back. There was a heavy mist and the ground was white. Passing the house of a woman he had been seeing in secret, he had someone knock on the gate. There was no answer, and so he had someone else from his retinue, a man of very good voice, chant a poem of his. Though there was a poem given in response, no one came out. Before Prince Hyobu, the father of the girl, came, Genji took the girl away to his Nijo residence in the middle of night. Genji worked hard to make them feel at home.

He wrote down poems and drew pictures for her to copy. After you have finished, answer the following questions.

Religion in the World of The Tale of The Heike

Analyze the development of the plot in Part II. Note the major events in the order in which they occur. The ceremony of the initiation of the Third Princess took place at the end of the year. A large array of splendid gifts came from the Suzaku emperor and others. From Akikonomu came some combs, which had been sent by the Suzaku emperor when she married. The Day of the Rat fell on the twenty-third of the First Month. Tamakazura came with some new herbs that promised long life.

She had brought her two sons. Her young and beautiful face reminded Genji of his old age and his lost days. Genji could not refuse the request of Suzaku who had been looking for someone to support for his daughter. There was also another reason that Genji was induced to marry her. For the Third Princess was a niece of Fujitsubo. Choosing a temple in Saga, she commissioned a reading of the sutras for the protection of the realm. Ending the fast, a banquet was arranged at the Nijo residence and attended by many people in festive dress.

The musicians took their places. As it had become true, he would like to withdraw from the world and go off into the deep mountains. As she was the wife of Genji, it was forbidden love. Kashiwagi called the cat and took it up in his arms. Mewing prettily, it brought the image of the Third Princess back to him.

The Tale of Genji(源氏物語)

Murasaki may have died in Her father made a hasty return to Kyoto from his post at Echigo Province that year, possibly because of her death. She went on to become a well-known poet as Daini no Sanmi. Why does Genji agree to marry the daughter of the Suzaku emperor? Why does their marriage fail?

However, it also prepared the ground for a further treatment of the relationship between Genji and Suzaku himself. Kokiden once planned to marry her much younger sister Oborozukiyo to her son, then still heir apparent. Suzaku knows that the two remain in touch even after his accession, and because he loves Oborozukiyo, the difference between possessing her person and her heart torments him.

Genji has returned from exile and is about to sweep Suzaku aside, together with everyone who ever supported him. Name and describe three key characters who appear in this part of the novel or whose roles have advanced in this part. What role do they play?

The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu | LibraryThing

What evidence from the text can you provide that they are round characters, and thus have an important role? How do they interact with and challenge or support the protagonist? Use this table to capture your answers. Basically love at first sight They have a son together that is kept secret while she is married to the Emperor Kiritsubo now the little boy is crown she became Empress but Genji n her kept it secret Aoi no Ue.

His first wife and the daughter of the Minister of Left. He engages in a series of unfulfilling love affairs with other women, but in most cases his advances are rebuffed, his lover dies suddenly during the affair, or he becomes bored of his lover. She is the second wife and daughter of a provincial governor who probably belonged to a minor branch of the mighty Fujiwara clan. But he was expose about all his love affairs. Then she later die. In this part, the legacy of Genji continues.

He engages in a series of love affairs with other women. These are however unfulfilling, as in most cases his advances are rebuffed, or his lover dies suddenly, or he becomes bored. Genji visits Kitayama, a rural hilly area north of Kyoto, where he finds a beautiful ten-year-old girl. He is fascinated by this little girl Murasaki , and discovers that she is a niece of the Lady Fujitsubo. Finally he kidnaps her, brings her to his own palace and educates her to be like the Lady Fujitsubo, who is his womanly ideal.

During this time Genji also meets Lady Fujitsubo secretly, and she bears his son, Reizei. Everyone except the two lovers believes the father of the child is the Emperor Kiritsubo. Later the boy becomes the Crown Prince and Lady Fujitsubo becomes the Empress, but Genji and Lady Fujitsubo swear to keep the child's true parentage secret.


Genji and his wife, Lady Aoi, reconcile. She gives birth to a son but dies soon after. Genji is sorrowful but finds consolation in Murasaki, whom he marries. Genji's father, the Emperor Kiritsubo, dies. He is succeeded by his son Suzaku, whose mother Kokiden , together with Kiritsubo's political enemies, take power in the court. Then another of Genji's secret love affairs is exposed: Genji and a concubine of the Emperor Suzaku are discovered while meeting in secret.

The Emperor Suzaku confides his personal amusement at Genji's exploits with the woman Oborozukiyo , but is duty-bound to punish Genji even though he is his half-brother. There, a prosperous man known as the Akashi Novice because he is from Akashi in Settsu Province entertains Genji, and Genji has an affair with Akashi's daughter. She gives birth to Genji's only daughter, who will later become the Empress. In the capital the Emperor Suzaku is troubled by dreams of his late father, Kiritsubo, and something begins to affect his eyes.

Meanwhile, his mother, Kokiden, grows ill, which weakens her influence over the throne, and leads to the Emperor ordering Genji to be pardoned. Genji returns to Kyoto. His son by Lady Fujitsubo, Reizei, becomes the emperor. The new Emperor Reizei knows Genji is his real father, and raises Genji's rank to the highest possible. However, when Genji turns 40 years old, his life begins to decline. His political status does not change, but his love and emotional life begin to incrementally diminish as middle age takes hold.

Genji's nephew, Kashiwagi, later forces himself on the Third Princess, and she bears Kaoru who, in a similar situation to that of Reizei, is legally known as the son of Genji. Genji's new marriage changes his relationship with Murasaki, who had expressed her wish of becoming a nun bikuni though the wish was rejected by Genji. Genji's beloved Murasaki dies. In the following chapter, Maboroshi "Illusion" , Genji contemplates how fleeting life is.

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Immediately after the chapter titled Maboroshi , there is a chapter titled Kumogakure "Vanished into the Clouds" , which is left blank, but implies the death of Genji. Chapter 45—54 are known as the "Uji Chapters". These chapters follow Kaoru and his best friend, Niou. Niou is an imperial prince, the son of Genji's daughter, the current Empress now that Reizei has abdicated the throne, while Kaoru is known to the world as Genji's son but is in fact fathered by Genji's nephew.

The chapters involve Kaoru and Niou's rivalry over several daughters of an imperial prince who lives in Uji , a place some distance away from the capital. The tale ends abruptly, with Kaoru wondering if Niou is hiding Kaoru's former lover away from him. Kaoru has sometimes been called the first anti-hero in literature. The tale has an abrupt ending. Opinions vary on whether this was intended by the author.