In the Middle of the Tenth Month, there was a royal excursion to the Suzaku Palace. It was the 50th birthday celebration for Ichi-in, who was the Emperor's father. Music came from boats decorated as various sized dragons, which were rowed out over the lake. People danced to a variety of Chinese and Korean songs. Most admirable flutists were selected when Genji and To-no-Chujo danced the "Wave of the Blue Ocean" together. The dancing was held among the falling leaves, whose beauty frightened the people.
The emperor enjoyed the company of pretty women in his court. All the court ladies around him were talented and charming. There was a rather old lady called Naishi. She was wellborn and cultivated, but at the same time very indiscriminate towards love. When Genji had made a joke about her, she became serious. One day when she had finished dressing the emperor's hair she found herself alone with Genji. He tugged on her apron. She gave him a sidelong glance that was hidden behind a gaudy fan.
One evening in the cool after a shower, Genji was strolling past the Ummeiden Pavilion. Naishi was playing attractively on her lute. Genji passed a joyful time with her. Taking a little bit of rest, Genji suspected someone was entering. Gathering his clothes, he hid behind a screen. A man roared in wielding a sword. It was To-no-Chujo. Though Naishi was trembling, it appeared to be pretence. As Naishi was a woman of the world, she must have had a similar experience before.
Resumed by Mary Nagase. Published by UNESCO.© UNESCO 2000