Priest Akashi (明石入道)

Priest Akashi is a fictitious character in "The Tale of Genji," which is a novel written by Murasaki Shikibu.

He was a nephew of Hikaru Genji's maternal grandfather. In short, he was a cousin of Kiritsubo no Koi (lower class court lady). His father was a minister, and his wife (later known as the Akashi Nun) was a grandchild of Nakatsukasa no Miya. He himself was a high official, Sanmi no chujo (lieutenant general of Sakone-fu with Sanmi rank). Believing in the miraculous efficacy of Sumiyoshi Myojin God, he was a mysterious man who acted unusually.

He gave up being kyokan (an official of the Capital), to become Harima no kuni no kami (the governor of Harima Province), and then became a priest to live on the seashore of Akashi. Praying to Sumiyoshi Myojin God for a good match for his daughter (lady Akashi) from early on, he invited Genji to Akashi following a divine revelation in a dream, then married him to his daughter. After Genji returned to Kyoto, though reluctant, he sent his daughter and newborn baby, young lady Akashi, to the capital with his wife, and stayed in Akashi.

When he heard that young lady Akashi bore a prince of Emperor Kinjo, he believed his dream had come true and hid himself in a mountain recess, making his house a temple and leaving his disciple behind.

[Original Japanese]