The days went by and the
thunder and rain continued. Genji was intimidated. A messenger did come from Murasaki.
He arrived soaked to the skin, appearing less than human. Genji would not
normally have invited in such a shabbily dressed man. Yet the man brought him
affection. He thought himself become weak and vulnerable. The letter of Murasaki
and his story about city made him even lonelier.
On the following morning, when
the storm had subsided, an old monk came from Akashi to see Genji. Genji was
puzzled how the monk could have reached the shore in the severe storm. He sent
Yoshiyuki to see the old man. Then he said that he had come here to take Genji
to his own place, as he had been instructed in a dream. Genji also had a dream
of the old emperor who had come through the skies to help him. After
deliberation, he decided to go the Akashi coast. Taking along only four or five
attendants, he boarded a boat. Then a strange wind came up and they arrived at
Akashi as if they had flown.
On a quiet moonlit night in
the Fourth Month, he could see the Awaji Island in front of his new residence.
The sea was like the familiar water of his garden in the city. He took the
seven-stringed koto, long neglected. The monk, who was conducting his practice
in the temple and his daughter, Akashi Princess who lived in the hills, were
moved by the sound. Casting aside his beads, he came running to the main house.
Sending to the house on the hill for a lute and a thirteen-stringed koto, he
played with Genji together. Until late at night they played the instruments. The
old man told the story of his past and asked Genji to marry his daughter.
In the city, on the night of a
storm, the emperor Sujaku had a dream. His father stood at the stairs of the
east garden of the Seiryo chamber and had a great deal to say about Genji.
Perhaps because his eyes had met the angry eyes of his father, he came down with
a very painful eye ailment (In the graphic, the old emperor stands in the
gallery.) On the very same night, Genji also had a dream about the old emperor
at Suma. He encouraged Genji and told him to leave the Suma shore.
Accepting the demand of the
old monk, Genji invited his daughter to come to his house. But she refused to be
summoned like a servant. Yielding to her resistance, Genji went on horseback to
the hill with Koremitsu on the night of the near full moon. The coast lay full
in sight below. He would like to show it to
Murasaki. The temptation was strong
to turn his horse's head and gallop on to the city. On seeing the monk’s
daughter, Princess Akashi, Genji was strongly impressed with her nobleness.
Late in the Seventh Month, the
emperor issued an order to summon Genji who had become twenty-eight years old.
The Akashi lady was pregnant. As he could not take her along, he comforted her
with promises that he would choose an opportune time to bring her to the city.
The lady was sunk in the deepest gloom fearing to be left alone and longing for
the love of Genji. The monk became senile, lamenting that his daughter could not
go with Genji. On a moonlit night, while conducting his practice, the monk fell
into the brook and bruised his hip on one of the garden stones.
Resumed by Mary Nagase.
Published by UNESCO.© UNESCO 2000