Miotsukushi (The Tale of Genji) (澪標 (源氏物語))

Miotsukushi (Channel Buoys) is one of the fifty-four chapters of "The Tale of Genji." It is the 14th chapter. The title comes from the waka poems that Hikaru Genji and Lady Akashi exchanged in the chapter.

The story takes place during the period from October when Genji was 28 years old to winter when he was 29.

Having been forgiven for what he had done, Hikaru Genji came back to the capital, and Emperor Reizei celebrated his coming-of-age.

Emperor Suzaku took this opportunity to abdicate the throne. Meanwhile, Lady Akashi gives birth to a healthy young lady Akashi, and Genji sends a wet nurse and gifts of congratulations to her for the girl who is to be an empress. However, seeing such behavior from Genji, Lady Murasaki, who hadn't had a child of her own, secretly envied Lady Akashi.

Autumn came, and Genji paid a visit to the Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine in splendid fashion. Lady Akashi paid a visit there by chance on the same day, and was overwhelmed to see his resplendent looks. She is made acutely aware of the difference in social standing between her and Genji. Having been informed of Lady Akashi's being there by Koremitsu, Genji felt sorry for her because she could not even say hello, sent a messenger to her and exchanged poems with her.

Rokujo no Miyasudokoro and her daughter Empress Akikonomu had come back to the capital by then.

However, Rokujo no Miyasudokoro fell ill after that, and Genji goes to ask after her although he had not tried to see her for a while. Rokujo no Miyasudokoro realized that she was approaching her end, so she left the future of her daughter to Genji, reminded him that she would never want him to make her daughter his lover, and then passed away. Genji is a little reluctant to give up the high priestess, but he adopts her as his daughter as he promised Rokujo no Miyasudokoro. Although Suzakuin (Retired Emperor Suzaku) had requested Genji to have the high priestess as his empress, Genji decided to have her enter the court of Emperor Reizei following the advice of Fujitsubo.

[Original Japanese]