Sakaki (賢木)

Sakaki (The Green Branch) is one of the fifty-four chapters of "The Tale of Genji." It is the 10th chapter. The title comes from the waka poems that Hikaru Genji and Rokujo no Miyasudokoro exchanged in the chapter. It also became the theme of a Noh play "Nonomiya" (Yokyoku, Noh-songs) (by Zeami).

The story takes place during the period from the September when Genji was 23 years old to the summer when he was 25.

Having giving up on marrying Genji, Rokujo no Miyasudokoro determines to go down to Ise with her daughter, the Empress Akikonomu. Although Genji got married to Lady Murasaki, he felt sorry for Rokujo no Miyasudokoro and visited her place in the deep autumn fields, being unwilling to see her depart.

Soon after the high priestess had left, Emperor Kiritsubo fell into a critical condition, and died. Genji's feelings for Fujitsubo, who had returned to her family's place, become harder and harder to bear, and he stealthily visits her though he is strongly rejected. Fujitsubo, afraid that their affairs would be laid bare and that it would plunge Emperor Reizei into a crisis, suddenly becomes a Buddhist nun after the first year's anniversary of Emperor Kiritsubo's death, without telling either Genji or any other member of her family about it. Genji, grieving about it, and during the depressing days due to being pushed by the power of the family of the Udaijin (Minister of the Right), he secretly has repeated affairs with Oborozukiyo (The Tale of Genji), who serves as Naishi no tsukasa (female palace attendant) then. However, one night the Udaijin catches them in the act. The Udaijin and Empress Kokiden became enraged, and took this opportunity to expel Genji from the political situation.

[Original Japanese]