Tenarai (手習)

Tenarai is one of the fifty-four chapters of "The Tale of Genji." It is the 53rd chapter. This is the ninth chapter of 'Uji jujo' (The Ten Quires of Uji), a part of the tale's third section.

Yokawa no sozu, who firstly appeared in this chapter as the high-ranking Buddhist priest of Hieizan (Mt. Hiei), is said to have been created by looking to Eshin sozu, who was popular among the nobles in the Heian period, as a model and was constantly depicted as a person of character.

The tale tells of the summer when Kaoru was 27 to 28 years old.

Ukifune, who had attempted suicide after being driven into a corner due to a dilemma between Nioumiya and Kaoru, lay in a coma at the foot of a big tree situated along the Yodo-gawa River. She was rescued by Yokawa no sozu and his party who happened to walk by.
Sozu was on the way home from Mt. Hiei in order to nurse his hahaama (mother nun) in her 80's who suddenly took ill in Uji on her way home from Hatsusemode (visit to Hatsuse-dera Temple) with his imotoama (sister nun) in her 50's
Imotoama, who lost a daughter a few years before, thought Ukifune as the gift of Hatsuse kannon (the goddess of kannon at the Hatsuse-dera Tempe) and nursed her warmly.

After being moved to a hermitage located at Ono, the foot of Mt. Hiei, Ukifune recovered consciousness at last in late summer.
When she realized that she had failed in committing suicide, she longed for entering the Buddhist priesthood saying 'make me a nun.'
In the presence of imotoama and others who attended her, she stubbornly shut her mind, told nothing about her conditions and spent the day doing Tenarai (writing practice) in a pensive mood.

Konoe no chujo (middle captain of the court guards), who was the husband of late daughter of imotoama, visited the hermitage at Ono in remembrance of his wife. Imotoama was anxious about how to marry Ukifune to chujo. Chujo was attracted to Ukifune when he saw her back view and made advances to her, but Ukifune refused stubbornly. In September, Ukifune implored sozu who accidentally returned from Mt. Hiei at the time and became a nun while imotoama was absent from home for Hatsusemode. Although imotoama was shocked and deplored when she returned, Ukifune felt at ease after having become a nun.

In the spring of the following year, word came to Kaoru, via Akashi no himegimi (young lady Akashi), that Ukifune was alive. In order to confirm the fact, Kaoru visited Yokawa no sozu along with Kogimi, Ukifune's younger maternal half-brother.

[Original Japanese]