The Tale of Genji

Minister of the Right Character Analysis

The Minister of the Right is one of the most powerful men at court, just one step below the Emperor in rank. Described as being extremely vindictive, he shares his daughter Kokiden's hunger for power. However, he's slightly more willing to be persuaded to do the right thing than Kokiden is. Early on, for instance, he allows one of his daughters to marry the Minister of the Left's son Tō no Chūjō, which helps to smooth things over for a while between the two. However, when his grandson Suzaku takes the throne, the Minister of the Right bands together with Kokiden to rule in Suzaku's stead. He keeps Suzaku from promoting Genji or anyone in the Minister of the Left's household. When he later discovers Genji in bed with his daughter Oborozukiyo, the Minister of the Right goes straight to Kokiden with incriminating evidence and the two conspire to send Genji into exile. Though they're successful, the minister dies when Genji is away and after his death, Genji and his allies are able to retake the throne and return to power.

Minister of the Right Quotes in The Tale of Genji

The The Tale of Genji quotes below are all either spoken by Minister of the Right or refer to Minister of the Right. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Tale of Genji published in 1976.
The Sacred Tree Quotes

She was quite aware of Kokiden's feelings and knew that a world at the service of the other lady would be difficult to live in.

Page Number: 197
Explanation and Analysis:
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Minister of the Right Character Timeline in The Tale of Genji

The timeline below shows where the character Minister of the Right appears in The Tale of Genji. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Paulownia Court
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
Nature, Poetry, and Beauty Theme Icon
..."father to the nation." The emissary's remarks about Genji leak, raising the suspicions of the Minister of the Right , Kokiden's father. He becomes very suspicious, though he soon discovers he has no need... (full context)
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
The Minister of the Right feels put out about all of this, but he offers the hand of his favorite... (full context)
The Festival of the Cherry Blossoms
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
The Parent-Child Relationship Theme Icon
Genji wonders if the Minister of the Right might accept him into the family because of this liaison, but he wants to figure... (full context)
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
Nature, Poetry, and Beauty Theme Icon
Oborozukiyo is very sad. Her father, the Minister of the Right , wants to give her to Suzaku in mere months. Genji wants to figure out... (full context)
Heartvine
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
The Parent-Child Relationship Theme Icon
...comes to Kokiden's attention that her sister Oborozukiyo seems to be pining for Genji. The Minister of the Right isn't particularly upset about this since Genji's attentions are clearly elsewhere, but Kokiden suggests that... (full context)
The Sacred Tree
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
The Parent-Child Relationship Theme Icon
...brings possible turmoil with it: the Suzaku Emperor is still young and his grandfather, the Minister of the Right , is vindictive. (full context)
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
The Parent-Child Relationship Theme Icon
With the Emperor gone, Kokiden sets about making Genji's life miserable, as she and the Minister of the Right haven't forgotten that the Minister of the Left gave Aoi to Genji instead of to... (full context)
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
...recites a poem as Genji tries to sneak out. Unfortunately, an officer affiliated with the Minister of the Right sees Genji. (full context)
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
The Parent-Child Relationship Theme Icon
Nature, Poetry, and Beauty Theme Icon
...be able to sneak out. Finally, the storm passes, dawn comes, and with it, the Minister of the Right jauntily lifts Oborozukiyo's curtains to check on her. Oborozukiyo slips out, looking as though she's... (full context)
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
Women, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
The Parent-Child Relationship Theme Icon
The Minister of the Right lifts the curtains again and sees Genji in Oborozukiyo's bed, half undressed. The minister angrily... (full context)
Suma
The Parent-Child Relationship Theme Icon
Oborozukiyo spends her days feeling upset. The Minister of the Right attempts to help her and the Suzaku Emperor forgives her for her offense in sleeping... (full context)
Akashi
Heian Court Culture Theme Icon
The Parent-Child Relationship Theme Icon
...about, but Suzaku came down with a painful eye condition after that. Soon after, the Minister of the Right died and Kokiden became ill as well. Suzaku fears that as long as Genji is... (full context)