The Tale of Genji from Princesses to Pop


In The Tale of Genji references to the four seasons, like color and flowers, are not only deployed for their poetic allusions but to symbolize key characters. At the height of his court career Genji builds himself a beautiful home, the four-season Rokujō-in, that reflects his refined taste and sensitivity to the natural world. In this mansion, Genji designs a seasonal garden for the pavilion to represent each of the women he loves. Empress Akikonomu has an autumn garden with optimal views of the fall moon. Lady Akashi has a winter garden filled with evergreen pines, chrysanthemums, and frost-hued oaks. Lady Murasaki has a garden filled with plum trees and spring blooms, and the Lady of the Orange Blossoms has a garden filled with lush greens such as bamboo that provide shade in the heat of summer. Each of these gardens reflects aspects of the Lady’s character. Additionally, the various plants in these gardens are deployed as symbols for the Lady herself and as metaphors for the nature of their relationships to Genji.

The dominant seasons of the Tale are spring and autumn, seasons known for their intense and fleeting beauty. 

This page has paths:

Contents of this tag: