Translator’s note: This translation is based on the TV recording of the 1981 version. Please do not redistribute or reuse without permission. ~Jen

 

The New Tale of Genji

 

First Half: A Violet-Colored Love

 

Scene 1: Prologue (An Illustrated Scroll of Genji)

 

A soft orchestration and shadow solo can be heard.

 

Solo:

A woman who reminds one of violets, how nostalgic

The deep, dreamy spring of Genji in love

 

A

 

Mandala of Love

The various loves he met in a dream

A dream cracked into pieces

Only a moment given to him

Before long, it will be snatched away

Love and life, ephemeral

Buried beneath the circling months and days

The 54 books of the mandala of love

The 54 books of cast-off loves

 

B

 

Those who love him are demure

Those who are indiscreet often smile

A shared smile is the beginning of love

Flight from explanations is the end of love

Swinging sometimes between lies and truth

The sorrow of burning yourself on love!

The 54 books of the cruelty of love

The 54 books of the errors of love

 

 

Scene 2: Lord Hikaru Genji

 

Hikaru Genji: Koremitsu, Koremitsu!

 

Koremitsu: My lord. Everything is in waiting, the carriage preparations are complete.

 

Genji: I shall remain this night at the imperial palace.

 

Koremitsu: Oh! Remain at the imperial court? What of visiting the lady at Rokujō this evening…?

 

Genji: Who said I was going?

 

Koremitsu: If I remember correctly, you stated it yesterday. ‘Perhaps I shall call around Rokujō tomorrow,’ you said.

 

Genji: I only said ‘perhaps I shall’.

 

Koremitsu: Oh no….. Her lady attendant called Chūjō no Kimi asked me for confirmation and I made her a promise, for to-night…..

 

Genji: Koremitsu, have you fallen in love with Chūjō no Kimi?

 

Koremitsu: My lord….

 

Genji: Hahaha, fickle man, I’ll go to see her in the morning.

 

Koremitsu: Yes, my lord. Lord, the afternoon rain still continues, take care not to catch a chill.

 

Genji departs. Courtiers gather around Koremitsu.

 

Courtier 1: Lord Genji no Kimi is certainly no ordinary court official; he has an extra-ordinary grace.

 

Koremitsu: Yes, well….

 

Courtier 2: I can understand why the court ladies make such a commotion over him.

 

Courtier 3: It isn’t only his extraordinary grace, there is something else about him, I think?

 

Court Lady 1: Yes, there is something that flickers about Lord Genji no Kimi…. What could it be?

 

Koremitsu: Yes, that is the glow of passion… I suppose we must call it something like that?

 

Court Lady 2: Oh my, the glow of passion… How wonderful. Every time he stirs he gives off bewitching flickers which captivate many ladies, certainly.

 

Courtier 1: Certainly rumors of his loves still float about us.

 

Koremitsu: No, that was a miscommunication from the very beginning. It may seem so to everyone, but my lord is not so fickle.

 

Koremitsu:

A wise heart that exceeds that of other men,

A deep nobleman

Chorus (men):

As expected of the third son of the emperor

He is ranked a captain and is son-in-law of the Minister of the Left

Koremitsu:

A beauty beyond that of ordinary men

Chorus (women):

His fragrance alone is beautiful

Koremitsu:

His history is like something out of a tale

Chorus (women):

Aaa!

Koremitsu:

He was born from the intense love

Between the emperor and his Kiritsubo Intimate

Chorus (men):

Before he was old enough to understand

He had the misfortune to lose his lady mother

Chorus (women):

Perhaps it is the fault of that cloud

Amidst the light

Koremitsu:

Genji no Kimi’s inner heart

Chorus:

His inner heart

Koremitsu:

Is a mystery

Chorus:

Is a mystery

A mystery

 

Scene 3: A Rainy Night Discussion

 

Tō no Chūjō: Rainy nights are when all kinds of conclusions about women are discussed, I see. Incidentally, how about it? We are all here with Genji no Kimi to pass the time, so why not introduce some tales of our experiences with women?

 

Shikibu no Jō: Oh no, our tales are different from Genji no Kimi’s and yours, no Chūjō; not so refined….

 

Tō no Chūjō: No, I ask about the path you are accustomed to. Now then, Sama no Kami: begin, begin!

 

Sama no Kami: What, me? I am overcome, I see. Well then, my poor experience.

 

Sama no Kami:

A ripe age and beautiful appearance

Compassionate in their circumspection

There are many amorous and unfaithful women

Hyōbu no Taifu:

Strong fidelity and protecting the household

A good wife and wise mother is also a problem

Uneven face powder kills passion

Kurōdonosuke:

Moderate jealousy is sweet

But it can bring on a rampage

Seeing her raging like a warrior completely kills the mood

Shikibu no Jō:

And it is disagreeable when they put on airs

Formally whispering words of love

Before you know it all they do is lecture you

 

Tō no Chūjō: So what men see as a desirable woman is…

 

Unaffected, gentle, and beautiful

With a faint scent floating about her

Mild-mannered, that is

The ideal woman

 

Sama no Kami: There are no such ideal women, though, are there.

 

Hikaru Genji: (in his heart) No, there is. There is. The ideal woman……

 

 

Scene 4: The Only Woman

 

Hikaru Genji: She certainly is a woman without fault. The only lover for me in this world…… The first time I met her, I was still a boy with my hair up in loops, on the day she joined my father’s court as his lady……

 

Fujitsubo’s Voice: I hope we shall be good friends.

 

Genji listens with his eyes closed.

 

Hikaru Genji: The Lady Fujitsubo—they called her Princess Sunshine—was like a kind older sister to me, like a mother. A sweet scent hung about her; all I could do was gaze at her, spellbound. Before I was aware of it, that boyish longing had turned into a passionate love, mad days which tormented me……

 

The image of violet wisteria

Delicate, sublime

The only one in this world

You are everything, all else is an illusion

For one night of love

I would not regret, even if I fell into sin

I’d give my life

For a moment spent with you

 

: I had but one lover’s tryst with her…. The river of stars was beautiful that night.

 

 

Scene 5: The Lady Fujitsubo

 

Hikaru Genji: Ōnomyōbu, will you grant my wish at last today?

 

Ōnomyōbu: It is as if your suffering heart were by my hand, Lord Genji no Kimi, and I cannot bare to see you in such agony……

 

Hikaru Genji: You understand? I thank you.

 

Ōnomyōbu: But Lord Genji no Kimi, please think on it once more. This is a dreadful thing. Lady Fujitsubo is your lord father’s…

 

Hikaru Genji: I know it.

 

Ōnomyōbu: If the world finds out about this, not only Lady Fujitsubo, but you also will be ruined.

 

Hikaru Genji: This is my and Fujitsubo’s and your secret only. Now, please lead the way.

 

She leads him to Fujitsubo’s room.

 

Fujitsubo: Myōbu?

 

Genji steps into the light.

 

Fujitsubo: Oh! …. Lord Hikaru no Kimi……

 

He takes her hand.

 

Hikaru Genji: Yes, it’s me. I have so…..

 

Fujitsubo: You mustn’t! You mustn’t!

 

She turns her face away.

 

Hikaru Genji: You must understand my heart.

 

Fujitsubo: You musn’t, Lord Hikaru no Kimi!

 

She runs away from him.

 

Fujitsubo: Please, don’t play with me so cruelly…..

 

Hikaru Genji: I thought that you, too, cared for me….., was I wrong to think so?

 

Fujitsubo: No! That is not- I have always…… I was terrified when I realized that my heart’s inclination was such that I had fallen in love with My Lord Hikaru no Kimi.

 

Hikaru Genji: (Putting his arms around her shoulders.) Is it true, what you say…..?

 

Fujitsubo: Ah, you and I are…..

 

He kisses her hair.

 

Hikaru Genji: Be quiet! Now it is just the two of us…… (He brings her hand to his mouth.)

 

Fujitsubo: My Lord Hikaru no Kimi, the two of us fall into sin.

 

Hikaru Genji:

Let the two of us fall into sin

If we are together, any hell will be a paradise

 

Fujitsubo: So, I fell into sin long ago.

 

Each time I saw your form

I committed a crime in my heart

 

Shadow Solo:

In the shadow of the purple wisteria

This grace and nobility

Exists in only one man, only one

 

Hikaru Genji: As I came here by horse, I saw the river of stars and my will firmed. I would achieve this, even if it meant my death.

 

Fujitsubo: My Lord Hikaru no Kimi, I am so happy that I could die.

 

Shadow Solo:

Everything but you is merely illusion

For the sake of one night of love

I won’t regret even falling into sin

To spend a moment with you

This life, this life, let me turn it back

This life, this life, let me turn it back

 

Love scene.

 

B

 

Ōnomyōbu:

Only one secret lover’s meeting did he have with the lady

Only one moment of joy

More than ever before, Lord Genji no Kimi’s love

Now was aroused and maddening

Chorus:

The prince’s love. Fujitsubo’s love.

Although their bodies burned with hunger and thirst

Ōnomyōbu:

Their secret love was beyond their control

Chorus:

Suffering from his secret love,

Genji began pursuing a woman who resembled Fujitsubo

 

Ōnomyōbu departs, while Chūjō no Kimi emerges.

 

Chūjō no Kimi:

Some months now since the night of the river of stars

Time has passed and now it is autumn

Chorus:

Time passed into the depths of autumn

In the gardens of Rokujō

Chūjō no Kimi:

The woman is the Rokujō Haven

Chorus:

A noble lady

A sublime lady who resembles Fujitsubo

Chūjō no Kimi:

An affinity to the violet wisteria

Chorus:

A violet-colored love

 

 

Scene 6: The Rokujō Haven

 

The Rokujō Haven’s home. The Rokujō Haven emerges. Chūjō no Kimi and the ladies-in-waiting depart.

 

The Haven:

Why did I fall in love with him?

I have become addicted to him, body and soul

It hurts to breathe

But I should understand—

He doesn’t love me!

To him I’m not even

One of his partners in love

Although to me he is

My only lover…..

 

Genji’s voice emerges from behind one of the screens in the room as he undresses.

 

Hikaru Genji: That is not correct. (The Haven moves away.) Your mood has not improved?

 

The Haven: (She turns aside and stares at him fixedly.) Why did you pursue me?

 

Hikaru Genji: I have no eyes for ordinary women, the depths of my heart are bewitched…..

 

Chūjō no Kimi and ladies-in-waiting enter and tidy up.

 

Chūjō no Kimi: Pardon the intrusion. My Lord Genji no Kimi, the preparations are……

 

Hikaru Genji: (He moves to embrace her.) And moreover your beauty and graceful fragrance have stolen my heart…….

 

The Haven: It hasn’t taken you long to become so skilled at flattery. (She sits before her mirror.)

 

Hikaru Genji: (While going behind the screen to put on his over-robe once more.) Lover’s talk you say…… They are my true feelings.

 

The Haven: Do I cause you trouble? Then, why do your legs carry you so far away now, I wonder? (Gazing into the mirror she sees Genji watching her and smiling.) There, you see? To play.

 

Hikaru Genji: No, recently the emperor has me busy doing as he wills……

 

The Haven: I can’t say that your lying has improved outside of your lover’s talk. My Lord Genji no Kimi, you are searching for the shadow of someone else through me.

 

Hikaru Genji: What are you saying?

 

The Haven: Despite this, you believe that you have turned me slowly into that woman by sheer willpower, by entwining yourself around the shadow-me, don’t you?

 

Hikaru Genji: These are not the words I expect from the proud Haven, ‘entwining’ and such. Yes, not when the marks of your nails still remain on my arms.

 

The Haven: Hateful! (She turns aside.) Ah, I wish to be the only one.

 

Hikaru Genji: I am yours alone.

 

The Haven: A lie! All I’m getting are brief, stolen moments of your love.

 

Hikaru Genji: (Gently) Without showing contempt for yourself, please preserve that elegant aura you had when we first met.

 

Chūjō no Kimi: My lord, the dawn is breaking…….

 

Hikaru Genji: I will come again.

 

Music, and the shadow chorus hums “Mandala of Love”.

 

Chūjō no Kimi: (To page girls.) Bring word to his companions.

 

The page girls exit.

 

Chūjō no Kimi: My Lord, I shall see you away.

 

Hikaru Genji: (To himself.) In her eyes is the madness of one who loves completely. I wonder if my eyes became so fierce when I looked upon the Lady Fujitsubo?

 

Genji exits.

 

The 54 books of the mandala of love

The 54 books of cast-off loves

 

In a waiting room, Koremitsu and Yoshikiyo are accepting a drink from some ladies-in-waiting. The page girls arrive.

 

Akitsu: The lord is ready.

 

Koremitsu: Thank you. How is my lord’s mood?

 

Tsukushi: I cannot tell for certain….

 

Yoshikiyo: Meaning it is not very well.

 

Chūjō no Kimi brings Genji out.

 

Hikaru Genji: Ah, Koremitsu, you’ll bide here a while.

 

Koremitsu: Huh? But you’ll have no companions to….

 

Hikaru Genji: If Yoshikiyo is here it will do. (In a small voice.) Fool, listen to my good advice! (His eyes indicate Chūjō no Kimi.)

 

Koremitsu: Yes, my lord, I understand.

 

Hikaru Genji: (Still in an undertone.) After that, go round the northern mountains and look more closely into that small princess we saw there the other day.

 

Koremitsu: Yes, my lord.

 

Hikaru Genji: I shall see you in the imperial court.

 

Genji departs. Yoshikiyo, the ladies-in-waiting, and the female servants also go in. Koremitsu snags Chūjō no Kimi as she moves to follow them.

 

Koremitsu: It would be a shame to waste the arrangement my lord crafted so elegantly, don’t you think?

 

Chūjō no Kimi: How like Lord Genji no Kimi to understand the hearts of lovers so well.

 

Koremitsu: The Haven is still brooding?

 

Chūjō no Kimi: Yes, this morning was exceptional. …… She must be worrying over when she will see him again. My Lord Koremitsu, it’s in your hands.

 

Koremitsu: I also want to see you, so I will encourage it in subtle ways, but…..

 

Chūjō no Kimi: I wonder? Servant follows master, and both are well-spoken…..

 

Koremitsu: What are you saying? I am yours alone.

 

He embraces her.

 

Chūjō no Kimi: Ahh, exactly alike! (She laughingly eludes him.)

 

The two page girls return.

 

Akitsu: (Hides her face in her sleeve with a shriek.) We didn’t see anything!

 

Tsukushi: (Does the same.) We didn’t see Lady Chūjō no Kimi and Lord Koremitsu!

 

They leave, shrieking and laughing.

 

Koremitsu and Chūjō no Kimi give reserved smiles.

 

Koremitsu: Precocious children. That’s thrown cold water on us, so I'll call again.

 

Chūjō no Kimi: All right. Well then, Lord Koremitsu, until we meet again……

 

She departs.

 

Page Girl 2: Well then, Lord Koremitsu, until we meet again……

 

Laughing, the girls depart, and Koremitsu exits as well.

 

 

Scene 7: Minister of the Left / Minister of the Right

 

Nakatsukasa: Has anyone seen the Minister of the Right?

 

Shikibu no Jō: The Minister of the Right was in the gardens of Shōkyōden Hall, feeding the carp in the pond.

 

Nakatsukasa: My lady, it seems he is in the gardens of the banquet hall.

 

Tō no Chūjō: Ah, the Kokiden Consort. If you seek the Minister of the Right, he was just dozing under the eaves of the Seiryōden Hall.

 

Nakatsukasa: My lady, it seems he is napping in the Seiryōden….

 

Sama no Kami: No, I saw him viewing the horses in the Stables of the Right.

 

Nakatsukasa: My lady, the Stables—

 

The Kokiden Consort: I can hear them. Nakatsukasa, do you not realize they are making a fool of me, the Kokiden Consort?

 

Chorus:

Why is the Kokiden Consort hated?

Because –according only to rumor—

She cursed and killed the gentle Lady Kiritsubo

Hikaru Genji’s mother

 

The Minister of the Left enters.

 

The Minister of the Left: Now then, now then, Consort, how go your amusements?

 

The Kokiden Consort: My Lord Minister, lately all of the young nobility in the palace are ill-mannered. What do they mean by making a fool of the empress, the mother of the crown prince, without scruple?  Of course you have not induced them to this?

 

Chorus:

Now the true power of governance

Is held by the Minister of the Left

It is a cause of annoyance to Kokiden,

Daughter of the Minister of the Right

 

The Consort, Nakatsukasa, and the ladies exit.

 

Minister of the Left: (to no Chūjō) These ill-manners of yours just now will not do. Even if it was a joke, she is the empress.

 

Tō no Chūjō: My apologies, father, I was thoughtless. But anyone would unconsciously fall into it when they saw such haughtiness…

 

Minister of the Left: The Consort is a strong-willed lady. You will bring calamity upon yourself through unnecessary provocation of the household of the Minister of the Right. And you will also cause trouble for my son-in-law, Genji no Kimi.

 

Tō no Chūjō: Yes sir, I shall be discreet hereafter.

 

Genji enters.

 

Minister of the Left: My Lord Genji no Kimi, you seem somehow weary. Won’t you come to my house to-night to rest and amuse yourself?

 

Hikaru Genji: Yes, I regret neglecting to visit for so long.

 

Minister of the Left: No, no. Then, when you have an opportune moment to get away I shall accompany you.

 

Hikaru Genji: What has happened? You all seem unhappy.

 

Tō no Chūjō: Yes, we were just now teasing the Kokiden Consort, but my father fed us a scolding.

 

Hikaru Genji: Why were you doing such a thing again-?

 

Tō no Chūjō: Ah, she irritates me. Actually, there was a woman who was mine in secret. Then I was made to realize that my wife was actually from the Minister of the Right’s household, you see. The woman was threatened. She is a docile woman, so she kept it from me, disappearing from my sight. The Kokiden Consort was behind it, being her older sister. And she was such a sweet woman….

 

Hikaru Genji: That was unfortunate.

 

Tō no Chūjō: Nothing to be done. Speaking of a wife’s true family, you are my younger sister’s husband, but have no worries-! I won’t do such a boorish thing.

 

Hikaru Genji: (laughing) Thank you.

 

Tō no Chūjō: But… that sister is a problem, isn’t she? She has no graces.

 

For a moment, the scene changes, and Genji is facing the back of a seated Aoi no Ue.

 

Hikaru Genji: Without being always so formal, like a princess in a painting, can you not open your heart a little for me, so that we can be more like husband and wife?

 

Aoi no Ue: And how about you? From the very beginning your heart has been stolen away by another. Did you think I did not notice?

 

Her form disappears, and the scene returns as it was before.

 

Tō no Chūjō: Why is she like that, I wonder? If she were like me she’d be much cuter!

 

Hikaru Genji: I am at fault as well. (Ōnomyōbu enters.) Pardon me.

 

Tō no Chūjō departs.

 

Hikaru Genji: Ōnomyōbu, I have heard that Lady Fujitsubo is ill. Is she paying a visit on the palace already? …………. Ōnomyōbu!

 

Ōnomyōbu: Today I came to bring a report to the emperor that the lady is pregnant.

 

Hikaru Genji: What, pregnant!? Could it be… Myōbu…….

 

Ōnomyōbu:  My Lord Genji no Kimi, ask no more questions.

 

Hikaru Genji: Myōbu, you must know. Is it my child that will be born…..? Is it, Myōbu? ….. Tell me!

 

Ōnomyōbu: Forgive me……

 

Hikaru Genji: I want to see her. Now, immediately. Please, won’t you allow me to see her to-night?

 

Ōnomyōbu: That alone I cannot allow. I am sorry.

 

The Kokiden Consort: Fujitsubo is pregnant, father. The emperor loves Genji no Kimi above my own son, the crown prince. More than that, among all of his ladies of rank, he only has affection for Fujitsubo. If Fujitsubo has a son, will not the position of the crown prince be even more imperiled? What on earth am I to do….?

 

Minister of the Right: Listen, you will not speak of it.

 

The Kokiden Consort: But, father….

 

Minister of the Right:  All is well. It is indecent to wail in that manner!

 

The Kokiden Consort: Father, if you don’t act, there will be trouble….

 

Hikaru Genji: (to himself) I want to see her, I want to see her. Is there no way I can accomplish it? She must be suffering as well….. Months have passed since the night of the river of stars, and I have not seen her at all. Koremitsu, I envy how carefree you always are. If I could be so free to meet my lover whenever I wished….. We are like those stars which can only cross the river of stars and meet on the night of Tanabata……

 

 

Scene 8: Illusion of the River of Stars

 

A

 

“The Night of Tanabata Lovers”

 

Chorus:

Only one night for the Tanabata Lovers

Once every year their stars meet

Pray to the lovers’ stars

And spend one night of love

River of Stars! O, River of Stars!

Run shallow for us to-night

Run shallow for us to-night

 

Only one night for the Tanabata Lovers

Once every year their stars meet

Pray to the lovers’ stars

And spend one night of love

River of Stars! O, River of Stars!

Run shallow for us to-night

Run shallow for us to-night

 

 

B

 

Genji was only able to meet her in his dreams,

The one woman he loved

He pursued the dark lilac

Followed after the traces of dark lilac

Into the northern mountains in late spring

 

 

Scene 9: Young Murasaki

 

Inuki: Ah!

 

Page Girl (1): Princess! The sparrow has escaped! Over there, look, Inuki has let it loose!

 

Inuki: It wasn’t me! It wasn’t me!

 

Young Murasaki begins to cry.

 

Page Girl (2): Ah, it’s going into the thicket.

 

Page Girl (3): It’s gone…. It’s your fault, Inuki!

 

Shōnagon: (to the page girls) What’s happened? (to Murasaki) Princess, what’s wrong?

 

Young Murasaki: (crying) Inuki has let the sparrow escape!

 

Shōnagon: Oh my, and it was finally so nicely tamed and sweet.

 

Inuki begins to cry.

 

Page Girl (1): Inuki is faking tears, Inuki is faking tears!

 

The Nun: That’s enough, that’s enough. (To Young Murasaki) Why are you so childish? I have always taught you that imprisoning and keeping living things is sinful, and yet….

 

Young Murasaki: Yes, Grandma.

 

Shōnagon: My apologies, this happened while I was absent…

 

Nun: No, I am the same, and pity the motherless child, unconsciously spoiling her. (Smiling) Now then, play nicely.

 

Children: Yes!

 

The Nun and Shōnagon return inside.

 

Inuki: Princess, I’m sorry.

 

Young Murasaki: No, it’s fine now!

 

Genji and Koremitsu had been watching all of this in secret, and now they emerge.

 

Hikaru Genji: (To himself) The more I watch her, the more her looks closely resemble another’s…. As you'd expect, since she is Lady Fujitsubo's niece.

 

Koremitsu: Have we come again all the way to the northern mountains only to look at the little princess…?

 

Hikaru Genji: You think it is a whimsy?

 

Koremitsu: She is still so young!

 

Hikaru Genji: When I train her carefully with all of my skill she will become the ideal woman.

 

Koremitsu: Eh? You will wait until she grows up?

 

Hikaru Genji: That is the worth of this princess.

 

Young Murasaki spots Genji watching her.

 

Young Murasaki: Who might you be?

 

Hikaru Genji: You have seen me once before.

 

Young Murasaki: Ah, before you were secluded (she points) over there in the temple……

 

Hikaru Genji: Yes, and today I have business with your grandmother.

 

Young Murasaki: Well then, please go ahead.

 

Hikaru Genji: No, today I have come suddenly, so I will wait here—

 

Young Murasaki: You are much more beautiful than my father.

 

Hikaru Genji: (Laughing) Does your father come often?

 

Young Murasaki: No, not often….

 

Hikaru Genji: That must be very lonely.

 

Young Murasaki: Yes…..

 

The Nun and Shōnagon, along with the ladies-in-waiting, all hurry out of the house.

 

Nun: (Bowing) Thank you for coming to such a remote hermitage. Please, enter.

 

The servants and Young Murasaki enter, but Genji hangs back.

 

Hikaru Genji: No, this is so sudden, please think of it as a passing visit.

 

Nun: You wanted to speak to me?

 

Hikaru Genji: Yes, I have come to earnestly make a request of you……. This is putting it rather abruptly, but would you give that little princess into my care?

 

Nun: Oh my, my granddaughter?

 

Hikaru Genji: It is only natural that you are surprised, but when I was young I also lost my mother and grew up very lonely. Because of my own history, to see the princess so rends my heart, and I would like to be given the care of her.

 

Nun: I am very grateful for your words, but that child is still of so few years, and cannot even be a conversation partner.

 

Hikaru Genji: No, I am simply thinking of acting as her foster parent……

 

Nun: I must speak, for she is still a helpless child—

 

Hikaru Genji: Even so, please listen to my plea. I would never request this lightly.

 

Nun: That may be so……. In any case, please discuss this with the appropriate person…...

 

Hikaru Genji: I see. I apologize for pushing the matter.

 

Nun: My apologies.

 

The Nun goes inside.

 

Hikaru Genji: (To himself) I must have that princess. In the place of my beloved, with all of my skill, and to be able to see her from morning till evening….. (Out loud) Koremitsu, we shall take that princess.

 

Koremitsu: EH!? That’s absurd….. My lord, under no circumstances……

 

Hikaru Genji: I have decided. To decide something you simply take up your courage and move forward.

 

Koremitsu: My lord.

 

Hikaru Genji: Don’t get so flustered, it won’t be today. We shall come again. Let’s go!

 

 

Scene 10: Meeting with Our Child

 

A

 

Chorus:

The tenth night of the tenth month – a full moon

Ōnomyōbu:

The Lady Fujitsubo was safely delivered of a boy

Chorus:

She gave birth to a boy

Ōnomyōbu:

As I had feared, the young prince bore a striking resemblance to Genji no Kimi

The Lady Fujitsubo’s heart was disturbed

Chorus:

Today the emperor comes in person

Ōnomyōbu:

The dreaded meeting has come…

 

In Fujitsubo’s rooms, the lords are there as well as some ladies-in-waiting and the emperor.

 

Fujitsubo: My lord, this is the prince, if you permit.

 

Emperor Kiritsubo: Oh, where? Here? (Ōnomyōbu hands the baby to the emperor.) Oh, how lovely, and a big, round prince for only two months. Fujitsubo, you have accomplished quite a feat. Chūjō, take a look at this.

 

Just as the baby is brought closer to Chūjō—

 

Lady-in-Waiting (5): Lord Genji no Kimi has arrived.

 

Emperor: Ah, you come at a good time.

 

Hikaru Genji: I was delayed. Congratulations on this occasion.

 

Emperor: What do you think? Isn’t he a lovely boy?

 

Tō no Chūjō: He is entirely sweet, and because he is your younger brother he bears you a striking resemblance.

 

Hikaru Genji: He resembles me?

 

Genji turns pale.

 

Emperor: Oh, so he does, he resembles you closely. I have many children, but you were the only one I had by my side from the time you were a baby, so I recollect well. Yours was exactly like the face of that baby there.

 

Hikaru Genji: ……… All babies look alike to me……

 

Emperor: No, that’s not so, the prominence of the facial features, for example, are an exact match for yours.

 

Ōnomyōbu: The Lord Genji no Kimi’s lady mother was said to resemble the Lady Fujitsubo very closely.

 

Tō no Chūjō: Ah, yes, no wonder these two resemble each other so closely.

 

Hikaru Genji: (with a sigh of relief) I see……. Lady Fujitsubo, have you been well since the birth?

 

Fujitsubo: Ah, yes, thank you.

 

Emperor: Ah, he’s looking at you and smiling. Now, hold your younger brother for a moment.

 

Hikaru Genji: What? Yes…..

 

The baby is put into his arms, which he takes as if it is something terrifying.

 

Hikaru Genji: (in his head) Ah, I’m holding my son in my arms this very moment. My child, that that woman bore…..

 

Tō no Chūjō: Well? How does it feel to hold the baby brother who looks just like you?

 

Hikaru Genji: ……..

 

Ōnomyōbu: It is time for the young prince to sleep now.

 

Ōnomyōbu takes the baby from Genji as if rescuing him, bows, and exits. The ladies and pages go as well.

 

Emperor: I will make that young prince the crown prince. Then, Fujitsubo, since you gave birth to such a wonderful son, I have decided to place you near me in the main palace.

 

Tō no Chūjō: That is happy news.

 

Fujitsubo: My Lord……

 

Emperor: By the way (to Genji), it seems you have not been visiting the home of the Minister of the Left. Why do you neglect your wife in this way?

 

Hikaru Genji: Ah……

 

Tō no Chūjō: My Lord, it is not only the fault of Genji no Kimi—my sister also has not opened her heart to him……

 

Emperor: If a man loves sincerely, the woman will open her heart. Is that not right, Fujitsubo? Won’t you speak to him? Since he was a child Genji has only attended to what you say.

 

Fujitsubo: Yes……. As my lord has said, My Lord Hikaru no Kimi, you should take care of Lady Aoi no Ue.

 

Hikaru Genji: ….. (gazing at her) Yes…….

 

Emperor: There, he listened obediently. Hahaha.

 

Tō no Chūjō laughs along with the emperor, and their laughter echoes around the stage. Everyone disappears, leaving only Genji and Fujitsubo on the stage.

 

B

 

Hikaru Genji: When I held my son, I felt like shouting in mindless fear.

 

Fujitsubo: I was soaked with a cold sweat throughout.

 

Hikaru Genji: But, on the other hand, I was so happy that my heart could only dance in joy. It was a mysterious thing….

 

Fujitsubo: From now until our deaths, we two have a heavy secret we must keep.

 

Hikaru Genji: Yes, that child will be the next crown prince, and someday emperor.

 

Fujitsubo: My Lord Hikaru no Kimi, please watch over that child….

 

Hikaru Genji: I intend to, My Lady Fujitsubo. Because that child is ours…..

 

Chorus:

The 54 books of the mandala of love

The 54 books of cast-off loves

 

 

Scene 11: Carriage War

 

A

 

Ladies-in-Waiting:

The Emperor Kiritsubo abdicated his position

Court Officials:

Emperor Suzaku ascended

Townsmen:

Soon at the Hollyhock Festival

The high priestess of Kamo Shrine will be changed

Townswomen:

The new priestess is a princess

Today she entered the shrine

Town Children:

A procession formed down the main street

The noble children were all there

The Commander of the Right, Genji no Kimi, joined in

Women:

My Lord Genji no Kimi, the Shining Prince

Townsman:

The curious and onlookers in their carriages also sallied out, packing the main road

Town Child:

However, there was a serious, large incident!

Townsmen:

Before they entered into the precession,

Two carriages collided

Court Officials:

One was Genji’s wife, Aoi no Ue

Ladies-in-Waiting:

The other was his lover, the Rokujō Haven

All:

A carriage war where neither would yield

Now, how will this battle play out?

 

Kurimaru: Hey, you over there, move! You’re in the way!

 

Usuki: Don’t wave your hands at us. This carriage isn’t one that you can order out of the way.

 

Kanirō: It doesn’t matter whose you say it is, if it isn’t moved someone will be injured.

 

Hachimaru: Don’t speak so rudely.

 

Usuki: Whose carriage do you think this is?

 

Chūjō no Kimi: Usuki, you mustn’t.

 

Kurimaru: What, and whose carriage do you think this is? It belongs to the wife of Lord Commander Genji.

 

Emon no Kami: Kurimaru, please move that carriage aside quickly.

 

Chūnagon no Kimi: Don’t speak impossible things. It is bad manners for those who come later to push aside those ahead of them, is it not?

 

Shikibu: Perhaps you set forth from Rokujō incognito, but those who are in the shadows should refrain.

 

Chūjō no Kimi: Do not say such unreasonable things.

 

Emon no Kami: Everyone, assemble, quickly!

 

Kurimaru: You’re causing trouble. Move, move!

 

Usuki: What!?

 

Aoi no Ue’s retinue emerges victorious in the ensuing struggle, and her carriage moves in front of the Rokujō Haven’s. Aoi no Ue steps out of her carriage. The Haven falls out of hers.

 

Akitsu: Ah! My Lady!

 

B

 

Their carriages and retinues leave them alone on stage. They dance. At first Aoi no Ue seems triumphant. Then the Haven’s costume changes to a fiery red.

 

C

 

The Haven’s ladies emerge and beat down Aoi’s ladies. She herself seems to be causing Aoi great pain. Aoi’s outfit changes to white.

 

D

 

Genji catches sight of the mirage of the Haven and seems shocked.

 

Hikaru Genji: You! … The Rokujō Haven’s living spirit?

 

 

E

 

A priest drives away the living spirit of the Haven. Aoi collapses. Minister of the Left, and no Chūjō emerge. They call to Aoi, who seems in great pain.

 

Genji goes to Aoi no Ue’s side.

 

Hikaru Genji: It’s all right now, hold firm.

 

Tō no Chūjō: Genji no Kimi, please hold her. She has been prostrate since the day of the carriage war, only weakening day by day. Please stay a while longer.

 

Aoi no Ue: Ah, husband…. I am glad.

 

Hikaru Genji: Aoi…. (he holds her)

 

Aoi no Ue: Why could I never say these things, I wonder? Although I have always loved you so dearly…..

 

Hikaru Genji: It is not too late, even now.

 

Aoi no Ue: Husband, our child… sweet Yūgiri…. I leave him in your care!

 

Aoi no Ue dies quietly in Genji’s arms.

 

Tō no Chūjō: Aoi!

 

 

Scene 12: Murasaki no Ue

 

A

 

Koremitsu:

Crushing events continued to occur

Around Genji no Kimi

He endured with a shaken heart

The princess in the northern mountains, alone

Was his precious comfort

Chorus:

Young Murasaki, Young Murasaki

The princess who reminds one of Violet Wisteria

As she ran ahead of her grandmother

Genji no Kimi snatched her away

To his palace in Nijō

And had her live in the western wing

And had her live in the western wing

 

Young Murasaki, Young Murasaki

The princess who reminds one of Violet Wisteria

 

B

 

Chorus:

Genji no Kimi’s cherished princess

Whom he planned to train to be the perfect woman

He taught and guided her kindly

The art of writing, the art of singing

In due course, the art of love as well

 

Hikaru Genji: When I’m with you like this I can forget the bitter things.

 

Young Murasaki: Are there such bitter things?

 

Hikaru Genji: When you become an adult, there are many bitter and painful things.

 

Young Murasaki: Then, when I become an adult will I have to experience bitter things too?

 

Hikaru Genji: I will be with you, so it will be all right, there is no need to worry.

 

Young Murasaki: Well then, I will be with you as well, brother, so please bear it, even if things are bitter.

 

Hikaru Genji: ….. Thank you, Murasaki no Kimi.

 

Genji hugs Murasaki and kisses her on the head.

 

C

 

“A Violet-Colored Love”

 

Genji:

You were standing

Amidst the violet light

You with your glossy black hair

A mere ten years or so old

Yet my heart was charmed by you at first glimpse

I longed

I longed to make you my wife

Ah, spring, when the flower petals drift down

Ah, spring, when the flower petals drift down

Autumn, when the leaves change

 

D

 

Hikaru Genji: I have been waiting in anticipation of the day when you grew into a vibrant and rich young woman. The result is that you have become my ideal woman. Let us be a loving couple.

 

Murasaki: Yes. Right now I am full of gratitude to be alive.

 

Hikaru Genji: Murasaki….

 

Chorus:

Chasing the shadows of Fujitsubo

Genji gained a violet with an affinity to the wisteria

For a brief period they dreamed, heads on their arms

A vow as husband and wife, a hazy spring

 

E

 

Genji and his retinue are setting out.

 

Murasaki no Ue: Safe journey. (To Koremitsu) Lord Koremitsu.

 

Koremitsu: Yes?

 

Murasaki: A moment.

 

Koremitsu: Hm?

 

Murasaki: Where is he headed?

 

Koremitsu: Ah, there’s an urgent summons from the imperial palace….

 

Murasaki: Where is he really headed?

 

Koremitsu: As I said, ah….

 

Murasaki: I’ve known you well since I was a child.

 

Koremitsu: My lady…..

 

Murasaki: The Rokujō Haven has gone to Itsukinomiya, to the Ise Shrine, and I can’t imagine it is that red-nosed Princess Suetsumuhana. Could it be the one called Hanachirusato? Or Asagao no Kimi?

 

Koremitsu: You know quite a few…..

 

Murasaki: I am his wife, I know everything…… Naturally any woman would yearn for a lord like him; to have two or three lovers would not be so strange. Is that not right, Lord Koremitsu?

 

Koremitsu: Please, pardon me. The lord is a faithful man, but once, those, ah, who were his intimates…..  He cannot neglect them. Occasionally, very occasionally, he goes to see how they fare…..

 

Murasaki: Only to see how they fare?

 

Koremitsu: Yes, upon my word, it is……

 

Shōnagon: My lady, please forgive Lord Koremitsu, he is perspiring so.

 

Koremitsu: The weather is warm today.

 

Murasaki: (laughing) I am sorry, Lord Koremitsu. I know he loves me. So, enough, I’ve made you late; go on your way.

 

Koremitsu: (sighing in relief) Yes, well then.

 

Murasaki: Ah, how can I say this? Yes, Oborozukiyo no Kimi. Please tell him, as I cannot, that would be best if he didn’t get too close to that lady. Oborozukiyo no Kimi is the younger sister of Dowager Empress Kokiden, and they say the current emperor favors her greatly. If he is imprudent it could cause him great difficulties, you realize?

 

Koremitsu: Yes. I deeply appreciate your anxiety, my lady.

 

Koremitsu exits.

 

Murasaki: Shōnagon, there is one thing which I do not know.

 

Shōnagon: What is that?

 

Murasaki: Why did Genji no Kimi come to think when I was just a child: “I shall make her my wife someday”?

 

Shōnagon: Perhaps because even as a child you were very beautiful, Princess.

 

Murasaki: I feel that that is not the only reason, and though it comes to my mind now, I think that inside himself, Hikaru no Kimi has an ideal image, and that he thought he could raise me to become close to that ideal.

 

Shōnagon: Who can tell….?

 

Murasaki: Does this ideal image fit someone real, or simply some vague ideal? That is what I do not know. Someday I shall know, but I feel somehow anxious thinking about that time!

 

 

Scene 13: Flower Banquet

 

A – In Front of the Purple Curtain

 

Spring, hazy spring

The Flower Banquet in the Seiryōden

Flowers, glorious flowers

Now, beneath an abundance of flowers

The wind beckons quietly

One day of spring to admire the falling flowers

Government officials and dancing girls assembled

Wishing the imperial reign well

By presenting a dance

 

Singing and dancing.

 

B – Evening in the Seiryōden

 

Genji and no Chūjō dance with cherry blossom branches. Later, Oborozukiyo joins them.

 

 

Scene 14: Kokiden’s Wrath

 

Kokiden: Can you possibly understand the unhappiness that I have repressed and held back, father?

 

Minister of the Right: I understand, I understand.

 

Kokiden: In the Seiryōden I was separated from the emperor, with Retired Emperor Kiritsubo and the Empress Fujitsubo between us, and the imperial prince and I placed lower. Why must I, the mother of the emperor, sit lower than Fujitsubo?

 

Tō no Ben: It is surely still strange for the mother of the current emperor to be seated lower than the mother of the imperial prince.

 

Minister of the Right: No, more importantly, she gets preference in her position of empress to the emperor’s father. In other words, it is not a matter of current emperor’s mother and imperial prince’s mother, but from when the emperor’s father still reigned….

 

Kokiden: Enough! It’s all jumbled and complicated. And what do you think of everyone making so much of that Commander of the Right, Genji, during his dance with that third-grade Chūjō? I am become quite sick of hearing how beautiful it was. What did they mean by that behavior; aren’t they both members of Minister of the Left’s faction? The current emperor is my son, from the household of the Minister of the Right, so they should be more restrained.

 

Minister of the Right: But your younger sister Oborozukiyo no Kan no Kimi was dancing with them…..  We are lucky that the emperor favors her, and our family will prosper even more from now on.

 

Kokiden: No, we must not be negligent. Retired Emperor Kiritsubo was pleased to tell the emperor to confer power to Commander Genji and bring him into the government, as you well know. I cannot rest easy until Commander Genji is somehow removed far away.

 

Tōshōshō: There is a tale that has come to my ears. I heard an uncertain rumor, that Commander Genji has been spending time with Oborozukiyo no Kimi.

 

Minister of the Right: What?

 

Nakatsukasa: That rumor has also reached my ears. But I thought it impossible….

 

Tōshōshō: I also thought so. Nevertheless, at dawn the other day I spied Lord Genji beside Kan no Kimi’s rooms.

 

Tō no Ben: This cannot be permitted.

 

Kokiden: A very good tale.

 

Minister of the Right: To desire the emperor’s favorite is too audacious.

 

Kokiden: It might even be called treason.

 

Minster of the Right: Eh?

 

Kokiden: Everyone, keep your eyes clear and observant around Kan no Kimi. If he is caught in our net I can dispose of him once and for all, ohohoho.

 

 

Scene 15: Oborozukiyo

 

Hikaru Genji:

The tender night is fragrant

The night’s stillness stirs my heart

The faint intoxication left from the banquet

I recall a nostalgic beauty of wisteria

Tantalizing, the forbidden desire to meet

Spring nights are seductive

They make my body ache

 

: In the midst of dancing, I could feel her gaze on me from behind the blinds, as if a stake were driven into me. In that moment all of the feelings for her that I had been repressing came flooding out as if a dam had broken, and I nearly forgot myself. When I think that I will never see her again, what will become of this outpouring from my heart? Ah, she has become even more distant from me now, as an empress. That love has faded into emptiness, and become nothing more than a phantasm?

 

Tō no Chūjō enters.

 

Tō no Chūjō: Here you are. Koremitsu was looking for you.

 

Hikaru Genji: Please don’t go out of your way on my account.

 

Tō no Chūjō: Hoo, this is rare. Genji no Kimi with his strong head for alcohol, intoxicated. Although recently something has been dragging me down as well. With the change in the imperial reign, the Minister of the Right’s men have become insufferable, hmph, and even the fools who made much of us before have turned their backs on us…. No, father says that the political power has now transferred to the Minister of the Right’s camp, and not to kick and struggle for a while, though we are not defeated like old men. How about it, as a distraction from our grief, want to kick up a fuss with us?

 

Hikaru Genji: Thank you, I would gladly join you, but I plan to spend a quiet evening under the flowers on this misty moonlit night. Good night, third-rank captain.

 

Tō no Chūjō: Well then I’ll take my leave of you. Don’t catch a chill…..

 

Tō no Chūjō departs.

 

The distant lights in the palace go out one by one.

 

Hikaru Genji: (As if talking in his sleep) Ah, to bury my one love….. All night……. Let us hold a wake for love…..

 

Fujitsubo appears from behind a large cherry tree.

 

Fujitsubo: My Lord Hikaru no Kimi, I shall bury it along with you. To protect our young son in the east palace, that is the only path….. Please, think of me as a woman who has cut her hair and severed all ties with this world…..

 

She exits. Genji starts awake and follows after.

 

Hikaru Genji: A moment……

 

Fujitsubo has gone behind the tree on one side, and Oborozukiyo emerges from the other.

 

Hikaru Genji: Ah, you….

 

Oborozukiyo: My, what has happened, to put such an expression on your face….?

 

Hikaru Genji: Oborozukiyo no Kimi, what brings you here this late at night?

 

Oborozukiyo: After the banquet ended I was enticed out into the pleasant spring night to cool down, and….. my heart had a premonition I could meet you….. After all, we first met last year after the Flower Banquet. You didn’t know who I was with then…..

 

Hikaru Genji: (To himself) That’s right, then too I was wandering about, thinking in anguish about Fujitsubo.

 

Oborozukiyo: (Leaning against him) But I cannot forget the one I met on that misty, moonlit night…… The only one I love is you. (Pretending to pull away) You seem to want to say farewell.

 

Hikaru Genji: You aren’t afraid?

 

Oborozukiyo: I am. But that is fine. So long as I am with you, nothing matters…..

 

Genji leads her inside.

 

Tōshōshō, no Ben, and Nakatsukasa come out from here and there.

 

Nakatsukasa: He clearly slighted the emperor.

 

Tō no Ben: I see, complete treachery.

 

Tōshōshō: We must tell the Minister of the Right and the empress immediately. Have them come to the actual spot.

 

Tō no Ben: Understood.

 

 

Scene 16: Leaving the Capital

 

Chorus:

The Minister of the Right and the empress

Caught hold of the evidence and raised an uproar

The perfect opportunity to consign Genji to oblivion

They raised their hands to fan the flame of Genji’s banishment

Treason. Treachery. Ostracism. Banishment!

Ahhh

 

: At that same time, the former Retired Emperor Kiritsubo’s influence waned.

Misfortunes piled one on the other.

 

Koremitsu: My lord!

 

Hikaru Genji: So it has come at last. It can’t be helped.

 

Koremitsu: After the Flower Banquet, because I came in search of you. I regret it.

 

Hikaru Genji: No, the same thing would probably have occurred sooner or later. Don’t regret it any more. Koremitsu, there is only one way. Before the empress plays her hand and I am sent from the imperial court a villain, I must part from the capital.

 

Koremitsu: Leave the capital?

 

Hikaru Genji: There is no time to delay. I have decided on Suma in Harima. Koremitsu, speed the preparations!

 

Koremitsu: Yes, my lord. And the arrangements for your wife……?

 

Hikaru Genji: Murasaki will remain.

 

The lights change, indicating a change of location.

 

Murasaki no Ue: Please take me with you. I won’t mind, no matter the harsh conditions. Don’t leave me behind, please….

 

Hikaru Genji: I am leaving of my own accord, and could never allow myself to put you in the same position; no woman will come with me. A day without seeing you, beloved, sets my heart in uproar, but for the sake of our future happiness, endurance is what we need now. Please understand.

 

Murasaki no Ue: Yes, My Lord…..

 

Genji puts his hand on her shoulder, and Murasaki no Ue cries into his sleeve. The scene shifts to the Minister of the Left and no Chūjō.

 

Minister of the Left: Although the deceased Emperor Kiritsubo’s final wish was for Genji no Kimi to act as assistant to the emperor, because the emperor has a docile temperament, it would appear that the empress and the Minister of the Right’s opinion has overpowered him.

 

Tō no Chūjō: Even if that incident had not occurred, they would have eventually taken hold of some excuse, which is how Genji no Kimi seems to have read it. When it came down to it, he was equal to a bold task.

 

Minister of the Left: He is a young man with obstinacy and backbone. You should follow his example.

 

Tō no Chūjō: Yes. Even if I should be surrounded by enemies on all sides, I intend to remain a friend of Genji no Kimi.

 

Chorus:

He journeyed while it was yet the still of the night

His companions all men

From Fushimi by boat to Nanba

A sea route of twelve ri covered by the next morning

He wandered in to Suma Inlet

 

How many months since he parted from the capital?

In Suma Inlet, autumn ripens

 

 

Scene 17: Suma Inlet

 

Genji’s home by the sea at Suma. Some fisherman, Ukon no Shōgen, and Nobuyuki linger in the garden.

 

Ukon no Shōgen: Ah, thank you, as always.

 

Fisherman 1: It’s good weather. Not that it ever changes.

 

Ukon takes the fish.

 

Ukon no Shōgen: Oh, these look delicious. It’s so tedious here that eating is all we have to look forward to, I suppose.

 

Nobuyuki: Well then, will you bring them around back so they can be cooked?

 

Fisherman 2: Yes sir, with pleasure.

 

Nobuyuki: How is business?

 

Fisherman 3: Our livelihood depends on the sea.

 

They go in. Genji and Koremitsu come out in their place. Yoshikiyo, Ukon and the others join them.

 

Hikaru Genji: The wind blows from the capital, Koremitsu.

 

Koremitu: My lord, …..

 

Hikaru Genji: Ah, but I am not the only one with a love in the capital, am I? For my sake you all separated from your families and loved ones—

 

Koremitsu: No, my lord, we have all had opportunities to send and receive letters from the capital, so please be at ease. My sympathies are also with you, my lord, for being unable to have your frivolities.

 

Ukon no Shōgen: We are very pleased to be able to serve at your side.

 

Yoshikiyo: It isn’t only the ladies of the capital who are enamored of you, my lord.

 

The men laugh.

 

Hikaru Genji: I am so grateful to you all for your attitude.

 

Koremitsu: The household at Nijō with Murasaki no Ue at its heart stays tightly connected to you. Just like us here at Suma.

 

Hikaru Genji: I see. That is good news.

 

Michihira comes out.

 

Michihira: My lord, you have a visitor from the capital.

 

Tō no Chūjō arrives with two of his men.

 

Tō no Chūjō: Is this not an elegant dwelling?

 

Hikaru Genji: Chūjō!

 

Koremitsu: Welcome.

 

Tō no Chūjō: It is long since I heard from you.

 

Hikaru Genji: How kind of you to come; I’m grateful.

 

He takes hold of his friend’s hand.

 

Tō no Chūjō: You look well.

 

Hikaru Genji: This way…. By coming here, don’t you risk trouble from the empress and the Minister of the Right?

 

Tō no Chūjō: What? If I should fall afoul of the empress’s faction I will deal with it when the time comes. More importantly, the capital is so wearisome without you; every day passes dully.

 

Hikaru Genji: “There is no greater happiness than when a friend comes to visit from far away.”

 

(Confucius)

 

Tō no Chūjō: Well then, first… a dance.

 

: Memories of past events become far and distant,

like a dream

 

Hikaru Genji:

Old friends have come to ruin,

and half fallen into Hell

 

Both:

Drinking amid your sorrows,

tears spill into your spring sake cup

 

(Tang poet Bai Juyi)

 

Tō no Chūjō: Oh, yes, I stopped at Nijō before I came here, and left a messenger with a missive from the Lady of the North. (He hands over the letter.) And moreover, Retired Empress Fujitsubo will at last be entering monastic seclusion.

 

Genji’s hand which has taken the letter stills.

 

Hikaru Genji: Become a nun….. I see, of course……… Excuse me.

 

He walks away a few steps to read the letter. The light fades away on him, and he exits. Murasaki no Ue floats into view.

 

Murasaki no Ue: I wonder how many days have passed, days when we could not meet. People console me by telling me that Suma is not far, but on the contrary it is because it is not far that my heart is in disorder.

 

Opposite her, Fujitsubo floats into view. Murasaki no Ue disappears.

 

Fujitsubo: Kyoto also has the same seashore. My sleeves are heavy with salt water, ….. I keep the memory of that one night secretly in my breast, and I shall become a nun.

 

The focus changes to The Rokujō Haven.

 

The Haven: It was with intent to kill my memories of you that I severed all ties and came down to Ise, but it was my belief that you loved me that allowed me to part from you. No, that love was not an illusion.

 

Oborozukiyo enters.

 

Oborozukiyo: The ghost of your fragrance clings to this fan which I always carry. It was terrifying, but that night was so wonderful.

 

All Four:

Ahh, my love

Poor Lord Genji no Kimi

I want to see you

 

Genji dances with the four women. One by one, he leaves them. A fifth woman appears. Genji sees her and becomes motionless. With thunder and lightning and rain, a storm arrives. The women disappear.

 

 

Scene 18: The Storm

 

Genji sits and prays amid the enormous waves. His dead father appears.

 

Emperor Kiritsubo: Hikaru Genji, why are you in such a shabby place?

 

Hikaru Genji: Father.

 

Emperor Kiritsubo: As the God of Sumiyoshi has guided you, you should leave this inlet with speed. Wait for a short time at the place where the guiding messenger shall bring you. Thereafter, return to the capital.

 

Hikaru Genji: But I am as good as under the emperor’s censure…..

 

Emperor Kiritsubo: Have you forgotten that you are counselor to the current emperor, and guardian to the crown prince? Why do you think I gave you the name of Genji and lowered you to a retainer when you were just a boy? Because you were chosen to be the pillar of this land.

 

Hikaru Genji: Father!

 

Emperor Kiritsubo: I go now to the capital, to speak with the emperor. Farewell! Abide by my words!

 

He disappears.

 

Hikaru Genji: Father! Show yourself just once! Father!

 

Suddenly the Akashi Novice comes into view.

 

The Novice: Are you Genji no Kimi? I am called the Akashi Novice, formerly of Harima.

 

Hikaru Genji: What is your purpose here?

 

The Novice: The Gracious Deity Sumiyoshi has sent me a dream, and commanded me to bring the nobleman in Suma Inlet to Akashi, and I rowed forth here at once.

 

Hikaru Genji: I have also just been informed. So you are Sumiyoshi’s messenger? And you paddled here in the midst of the storm?

 

The Novice:  It is a mysterious thing—I came here on a gust of wind, as if flying above the sea. If you have no objection, I shall bring you away to Akashi at once, as advised.

 

Five women float above the tall waves, and Akashi no Ue rises up to join them.

 

Akashi no Ue: (Echo) Father, he is the one that I have been awaiting. If he had not appeared, I was resolved to throw myself into the sea, to become the wife of the Dragon King. Bring him quickly!

 

Hikaru Genji: Akashi Novice, I shall accept your hospitable kindness.

 

The Novice: I am grateful that you will grant me this.

 

Hikaru Genji: Well then, I shall take my fate in my hands and entrust myself once more to the pleasure of the gods.

 

Second Half: Mandala of Love

 

Scene 19: The Magnificence of Genji

 

Chorus 1: Hikaru Genji becomes Chancellor of the Realm.

 

Chorus 2: Tō no Chūjō also advances, to Chancellor of the Interior.

 

Chorus 3: And the young prince born to Genji and Fujitsubo ascends to the position of emperor.

 

Chorus 4: Today the emperor visits Genji's household, and an autumn-leaf viewing banquet unfolds.

 

There is dancing, which culminates with Genji’s son Yūgiri and no Chūjō’s son Kashiwagi. The two young men laugh and play.

 

Genji and Chancellor of the Interior (Tō no Chūjō) enter.

 

Hikaru Genji: Tō no Chūjō—No, excuse me, Chancellor of the Interior—this brings back memories, does it not? Of long ago. We also used to dance so magnificently.

 

Chancellor of the Interior: It does indeed. Now our sons do the work.

 

Hikaru Genji: My son, General Yūgiri…

 

Chancellor of the Interior: And mine, Kashiwagi, Commander of the Right Gate Guards.

 

The dance ends.

 

Chancellor of the Interior: Ahh, ten years is quite a long period of time, but it passed in the blink of an eye. It is deeply moving.

 

Hikaru Genji: We have both shed our shells.

 

Murasaki no Ue and her ladies enter.

 

Murasaki no Ue: Dear husband, the emperor is coming this way.

 

Hikaru Genji: Ah, indeed.

 

The lady-in-waiting Shōnagon leads in Emperor Reizei and the Novice Fujitsubo.

 

Genji and the others bow.

 

Emperor Reizei: (Pauses) Minister, playing on the boats under the colorful leaves was fun.

 

Hikaru Genji: I am pleased it was so. Lady Fujitsubo, you look well……

 

Fujitsubo: Thank you for your hard work guarding the emperor every day. This is your wife, is it not?

 

Murasaki: Yes, my lady.

 

Fujitsubo: Thank you for your hospitality today. I could fully appreciate the autumn.

 

Murasaki: It was nothing. Please, this way.

 

She leads them off. Next, Retired Emperor Suzaku and Oborozukiyo move into view.

 

Retired Emperor Suzaku: Ah yes, I want to speak for a little while with Minister Genji, please go on ahead.

 

Oborozukiyo: Yes. (To Genji) It’s been a long time. (Turning away) I had a very enjoyable time.

 

There is a slight smile on her face from the double meaning of her words as she is led away.

 

Chancellor of the Interior: I shall accompany you…

 

He also exits. Page boys set up some cushions, and Retired Emperor Suzaku sits, gesturing for Genji to do the same.

 

Hikaru Genji: I am pleased to hear that you have recovered from your illness.

 

Retired Emperor Suzaku: Thank you. Although I was so cruel to you—against my will—long ago, you have always been kind to me……  I have come to slowly recognize the impermanence of the world, and I have decided to join the priesthood soon.

 

Hikaru Genji: Brother.

 

Retired Emperor Suzaku: At any rate, there is but one worry remaining in my heart; my unmarried daughter. Among other things, Onna Sannomiya lost her mother at a young age, and I do not know what will become of her when I go into the priesthood…..

 

Hikaru Genji: It is only natural. Why not choose some suitable person and see her settled?

 

Retired Emperor Suzaku: This is difficult to speak of, but I would like to ask you…..

 

Hikaru Genji: (Surprised) I… marry Onna Sannomiya….?

 

Retired Emperor Suzaku: Various people floated to my mind, but in the end of course no one superior to you. So will you not yield in this for the sake of my uneasy heart?

 

Hikaru Genji: …But of course. It is an honor I can never repay.

 

Retired Emperor Suzaku: Ah, to hear you say so gives me the greatest happiness. The clouds on my heart have lifted. (He stands up.) Now with my heart unburdened I shall endeavor to walk the righteous path. (He takes Genji’s hand.) I leave Onna Sannomiya’s care to you.

 

Retired Emperor Suzaku leaves.

 

Hikaru Genji: (In his head) I have no affection for Onna Sannomiya, but now I have undertaken the burden. (Aloud) Now, how to tell Murasaki no Ue? That is the problem.

 

 

Scene 20: Yūgiri

 

In the gardens of the Chancellor of the Interior, on an autumn evening. Kumoi no Kari enters, followed by her ladies-in-waiting, and admires the flowers. Without her seeing him, Yūgiri enters. The ladies-in-waiting exit quietly, and he sneaks up behind her and covers her eyes.

 

Kumoi no Kari: Oh, who is it?

 

Yūgiri: Guess.

 

Kumoi no Kari: (Shocked) Lord Yūgiri! How have you come here? If the household sees you there will be trouble….

 

Yūgiri: That’s all taken care of. Your father has finally given his permission to our marriage.

 

Kumoi no Kari: You must be lying. He was so opposed…. Why would he suddenly…?

 

Yūgiri: Your father, the Chancellor of the Interior, wanted you to enter the imperial household. Your elder sister is also a court lady, but in any case, along with the great friendship of long standing between the Chancellor of the Interior and my father, they are worthy rivals who compete in everything, are they not? And they have fought a battle to get their princesses into the imperial household. However, recently your father had a change of heart, and decided that a happy marriage would be better than the anxiety of putting you into the imperial household.

 

Kumoi no Kari: Ah, it’s like a dream….

 

Yūgiri: We waited so many years……. Do you know how I’ve suffered?

 

Kumoi no Kari: And I…. Raised together since we were children, and the love which sprouted from that.

 

Yūgiri:

Do you remember the parting in those

days of our youth?

When I told you not to forget me

You nodded and silently

linked pinkies with me

 

Kumoi no Kari:

I could never forget the parting in those

days of our youth

More than any great man,

you were amazing in my eyes

You were my precious one

 

Both:

Ah, beloved one

Ah, an autumn like a dream

 

Yūgiri takes her in his arms and kisses her. Kashiwagi comes bursting in, and the ladies-in-waiting enter once more from the opposite side.

 

Kashiwagi: (Clearing his throat) My apologies, but those preparations have been completed.

 

Kumoi no Kari: Oh my, what an awful brother, bursting in so rudely……

 

Kashiwagi: Don’t say that, Kumoi no Kari, as second-generation companions, I gave your tale all of my support.

 

Kumoi no Kari: I also have preparations to make. (Shyly) Lord Yūgiri, until we meet again.

 

She exits, with the ladies following her. Yūgiri watches her leave, then turns back to his friend.

 

Yūgiri: What is wrong? You seem unhappy.

 

Kashiwagi: No, it’s nothing.

 

Yūgiri: Don’t hide it. We’ve known each other for too long; I can tell something is off.

 

Kashiwagi: Mmm…..

 

Yūgiri: Kashiwagi…..

 

Kashiwagi: ….. I fell in love with Onna Sannomiya.

 

Yūgiri: (Surprised) Eh? ….I didn’t realize.

 

Kashiwagi: A long time before, I sent an intermediary to offer marriage. But now she will soon be married to Genji no Kimi.

 

Yūgiri: I see…… There is something ruthless in it towards my father as well, but it has already been settled.

 

Kashiwagi: That’s right, it’s been settled!

 

Yūgiri: It’s not fair, but there’s nothing to be done but give up. Just when I finally—!

 

Kashiwagi: I’m sorry, on such a joyful day for you…… Do not worry about me, please be happy with my sister.

 

Yūgiri: Kashiwagi……

 

Kashiwagi pastes on a smile and exits. Yūgiri follows him.

 

 

Scene 21: Rolling Snowballs

 

 

The Rokujō Palace, Murasaki no Ue’s wing. A winter night. Snow is falling. In the yard the page girls are rolling snowballs. Above, Genji and Murasaki no Ue are watching them and talking.

 

Hikaru Genji: …. I’m sorry, but that’s why. It is the sort of thing which I couldn’t refuse.

 

Murasaki no Ue: You’ve explained it to me before, and I told you that I quite understood your feelings in wanting to grant the retired emperor’s wish.

 

Hikaru Genji: Yes. Yet even with an imperial princess come here, my feelings for you will never change.

 

Murasaki no Ue: Yes, you spoke of that before. But, please, do not be unpleasant to the princess. Like myself, she lost her mother at a young age. I cannot abandon her.

 

Hikaru Genji: Thank you.

 

Shōnagon comes out.

 

Shōnagon: Princess Onna Sannomiya has arrived.

 

The page girls leave. The princess and her ladies arrive. She is still a naïve child.

 

Murasaki no Ue: I am Murasaki.

 

Onna Sannomiya: Greetings.

 

Murasaki no Ue: I wanted to meet you right away. From today shall we be good friends?

 

Onna Sannomiya: Oh yes.

 

Murasaki no Ue: What do you like, princess?

 

Onna Sannomiya: Let’s see, what do I like…?

 

Murasaki no Ue: Picture books, or dolls…?

 

Genji slips out through the garden.

 

Hikaru Genji: Murasaki no Ue, you are indeed the ideal woman. There will never be another woman like you.

 

You were standing

Amongst the violet light

You with your glossy black hair

A mere ten years or so old

Yet my heart was charmed by you at first glimpse

I longed to make you my wife

Ah, spring, when the flower petals drift down

Autumn, when the leaves change

 

Scene 22: Adultery

 

A

 

Before the violet-colored curtain. Yūgiri and Kashiwagi are present.

 

Yūgiri: (Pulling Kashiwagi to a stop) Wait, do you understand what you’re doing?

 

Kashiwagi: Of course I do.

 

Yūgiri: No, you don’t! You’re killing your own future. You know father is an excellent man; at the same time he is an excellent statesman. As a statesman, father is cold. If you turn a blade on father, he will retaliate without fail. Your path to promotion will be severed. I don’t want you to have such a bitter experience, or bring your own father sorrow. Give it up, Kashiwagi!

 

Kashiwagi: Yūgiri, I won’t regret it, though I throw away promotions or even my life. Not if I can get the princess—

 

Yūgiri: I understand a burning heart. But—!

 

Kashiwagi: Genji no Kimi doesn’t love the princess. If he was going to neglect her from the beginning, why did he marry her?

 

Yūgiri: That’s—

 

Kashiwagi: I won’t speak any more, let me through!

 

Yūgiri: Kashiwagi!

 

B

 

Before the black curtain. Kashiwagi enters and embraces a shocked Onna Sannomiya.

 

C

 

Before the Violet curtain. The Ladies-in-Waiting Chorus enters.

 

Chorus (Ladies-in-Waiting):

Aah!

Ah, at last

That which should never have occurred,

Occurred

Of all things, to snatch away the wife

Of Genji no Kimi

Of Genji no Kimi in full flower!

 

The Courtiers Chorus enters.

 

Chorus (Courtiers):

Indifferent to the heart of his friend Yūgiri

Kashiwagi and Onna Sannomiya meet secretly for many months

And then, at last, the dreadful

result of their sin……

Onna Sannomiya gives birth to a boy

 

Chorus:

Genji comprehends everything

 

 

Scene 23: The Reincarnation of Love

 

When the curtain opens, Genji is alone. He stands as if frozen in a snowy landscape.

 

Hikaru Genji: I have perhaps become proud; I didn’t realize how small was my existence in this world…… And so I fell into a deep hole. My splendid and pleasant banquets were surely to last forever. Has God bestowed upon me the punishment for my sin of pride……? Ah!

 

A scene unfolds behind him, an echo of the scene where Emperor Kiritsubo holds the baby, while Lady Fujitsubo and Genji sit nearby.

 

Kiritsubo: (Echo) What do you think? Isn’t he a lovely boy? His beauty is like yours. He looks just like you as a child.

 

Genji turns and runs towards them.

 

Hikaru Genji: Father-!

 

The vision disappears.

 

Hikaru Genji: Father! You knew everything, didn’t you? Knowing it, you remained silent, and kept it in your breast for all eternity. And, father, you never forgave me!

 

Hikaru Genji continues to stand amidst the snow.

 

The chorus hums the theme song, ending the show.

 

The 54 books of the mandala of love

The 54 books of cast-off loves

 

 

Scene 24: Finale (A)

 

The curtain closes.

 

A

 

Yūgiri crosses the ginkyō, singing the theme song.

 

Mandala of Love

The various loves he met in a dream

A dream cracked into pieces

Only a moment given to him

Before long, it will be snatched away

Love and life, ephemeral

Buried beneath the circling months and days

The 54 books of the mandala of love

The 54 books of cast-off loves

 

B

 

Page boys and girls dance like a rockette.

 

 

Scene 25: Finale (B)

 

A

 

Dancing with feathers.

 

B

 

Down the Grand Staircase.

 

 

Credits

Director/Adaptor: Shbata Yukihiro

Script: Tanabe Seiko

Composition/Musical Arr.: Terada Takio, Irie Kaoru, Nakamoto Kiyozumi, Yoshizaki Kenji

Music: Uzaki Ryuudou

Conductor: Nomura Youji

Choreography: Nishikawa Ritefu

Set: Kuroda Toshikuni

Costumes: Konishi Matsushige, Nakagawa Kikue, Touda Ikuei

Lighting: Imai Naotsugu

Props: Ueda Tokuichi

Effects: Ougino Shinobu

Sound Director: Matsunaga Koushi

Ass. Directors: Masatsuka Haruhiko, Tani Masazumi, Ishida Masaya

Producer: Hashimoto Masao

Creative Rights: Takarazuka Revue

Costume Fabrics Provided by: Kuraray