Summary of the Tale of Genji

In ‘The Tale of Genji’ our hero or the main character of the story, Genji, is the son of the emperor and his most beloved concubine of his, Kiritsubo. Genji’s future was predicted to be brilliant but his mother died after suffering the envy of her rivals in court, which led to her sickness and then eventually she died. The emperor then finds himself another concubine, Fujitsubo, who reminds him of his erstwhile lover. After his mother’s death, as Genji did not have much of a standing in the court the emperor reduces his status to a commoner and designate him to the membership of the non-royal Genji clan. After reducing his status to that of a mere commoner the eldest son of the emperor with lady Kokiden was that announced as the crown prince of the nation.
Genji was a very striking young man with inept skills who was loved by all but was also dreaded by none other than lady Kokiden and her family.
At the very beginning of the story, the author talks about Genji’s ardent adventures with diverse group of women and talks about his friendship with To No Chujo. The author then talks about his marriage to To No Chujo’s sister, Aoi and the birth of their son. After that the author talks about his blooming relation with Murasaki, his wife later in the story.
During this time, while Genji got married and had a son, the old emperor died and was then superseded by his and lady Kokiden’s son. Meanwhile, Genji’s amorous trysts started to cause troubles in the court, and he was exacted to leave the capital and forced to stay in Suma for the years to come, until the time period of his sentence was up.
In the next chapter of his tale, Genji met with the Ex- governor along with his daughter ‘The Akashi Lady’. After this as his time away from the capital is up, he returns the then emperor renounces his throne in favor of Fujitaubo’s and Genji’s son. This makes Genji to reinstate his position at the court while he and the Akashi Lady welcomed a daughter. After he returned to the capital, he settles down with Murasaki and several other women of his in his Rokujo mansion. As he was reinstated in his position at the court his authority in the court increases with many of his children and grandchildren were started to be appointed in the court. He then visits the Sumiyoshi Shrine to give his utmost
respect to the deity for his protection while he was stuck in a storm at Suma. Later, Genji is convinced to marry the third princess who then gives birth to a young boy but soon after renounces herself becoming a Buddhist nun.
In the last chapters of his story, the author then shows the adventures of Genji’s son and grandson in the background of the mountain area of Uji, Kaoru and Niou, who are best of friends but are also vying the attention of the same lady. This intriguing plot circles around the daughters of the eighth prince and Genji’ half-brother and the impulsive Ukifune.


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