- Channel Buoys
From about the beginning of the
Third Month, Genji thought about the Akashi
lady, for her time was approaching. He sent off a messenger who returned
with good news that a girl was safely delivered on the sixteenth. He was
reminded of what a fortune-teller had once told him. Genji would have three
children who would be certain to become emperor, empress and chancellor. Genji
badly regretted letting his daughter not be born in Kyoto.
When the long rains of early
summer came, he paid a visit to Hanachirusato,
the lady of orange blossoms. She was totally dependent on Genji. Through she saw
little of him, she never showed her resentment like a modern girl. He knew that
she would not make him uncomfortable. He was himself very beautiful in the misty
moonlight. She was waiting for him out near the veranda, in contemplation of the
night. From nearby there came the metallic cry of a water rail. Her soft and
modest character pleased Genji.
In the autumn Genji made a
pilgrimage to Sumiyoshi shrine. It was a brilliant progress, thanks to his
prayers. A huge number of attendants participated. Men who had in earlier days
led bitter lives like Koremitsu
and Yoshikiyo were among them.
For the Akashi lady it was
tormenting to see the entire splendor but not see Genji himself. Even a small
child like Yugiri had his own servants. The lady felt the difference between
Genji and her own family. It seemed that her daughter was utterly significant.
As she thought that the god would scarcely notice her little offering, she
directed her boat to Naniwa.
Returning to Kyoto, the Rokujo
lady fell ill and died. In his retreat, holding a religious service, Genji
sent frequently to inquire after her daughter to console her. It was a day of
high wind, driving snow and sleet. He thought how much more miserable the
weather must seem to her. Genji sent a poem saying that the spirit of her mother
would watch over her. He wrote it with a dazzling brush on a paper of cloudy
Resumed by Mary Nagase.
Published by UNESCO.© UNESCO 2000