Akashi (The Tale of Genji) (明石 (源氏物語))

Akashi is one of the fifty-four chapters of "The Tale of Genji." It is the 13th chapter.


Violent storms came one after another, and although Hikaru Genji prayed to the three deities of Sumiyoshi, his residence was struck by lightning and fire in the end. At dawn when the storm calmed down, the late Emperor Kiritsubo appeared in Genji's dream, and told him to leave Suma in accordance with the guidance of the deities of Sumiyoshi. Just as he was foretold, on the next morning the Akashi Priest appeared with his boat for Genji and his entourage, and they moved to Akashi.

The Akashi Priest invited Genji to his residence and treated him hospitably, and tried to present his only daughter (Lady Akashi), who he had been thinking of marrying to a nobleman in the capital since long ago, to Genji. The daughter herself was reluctant because of the difference in their social standing. However, while exchanging letters with her, Genji found himself attracted to her because she was so well-educated and good-natured, and in August, he finally himself visited her and they traded vows. Meanwhile, at the capital, the Daijo-daijin (Grand minister of state) (who was the former Udaijin [Minister of the Right]) died and Empress Kokiden fell sick. Emperor Suzaku, who was also reprimanded by Emperor Kiritsubo in his dreams, became timid due to eye trouble and finally decided to recall Genji. Genji was forgiven in public and would go back to the capital, but Lady Akashi was already pregnant with Genji's child by then. Lady Akashi grieved at the parting, and Genji promised her that he would be sure to bring her to the capital someday.

[Original Japanese]