The Tale of Genji from Princesses to Pop

Chapter 19

Genji could imagine the lady’s anguish at sending her child off to a distant foster mother. Over and over again, he sought to persuade her that it was the only thing to do. ‘Please you needn’t. I will be happy if you see that she becomes something more than I have been myself.’ But for all her valiant efforts at composure, she was in tears. …The little girl jumped innocently into the waiting carriage, the lady having brought her as far as the veranda to which it had been drawn up. She tugged at her mother’s sleeves and in charming baby talk urged her to climb in too. ‘It is taken away, the seedling pine, so young. When shall I see it grandly shading the earth?’ – Chapter Nineteen, “A Rack of Clouds,” The Tale of Genji

CHAPTER 19 Summary

Genji’s half-brother, the emperor, has died. Fujitsubo and Genji’s son, the crown prince, succeeds him, and Genji returns to the imperial court and his beloved Murasaki. He brings his daughter from the coast of Akashi for Murasaki to raise, Genji’s standing at court is on the rise, and he takes another wife, the well-connected “Third Princess.” Saddened by these developments, Murasaki’s health begins to decline. 

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