The Tale of Genji


Shikibu Murasaki

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The Tale of Genji: The Orange Blossoms Summary & Analysis

After the Emperor's death, one of his ladies, Reikeiden, had been forgotten by everyone but Genji. One evening in summer, he decides to visit her and her younger sister. On his way, he notices a house with ladies playing the koto inside. Koremitsu carries a note to the ladies. In their reply the ladies feign ignorance as to who Genji is, so Koremitsu decides they should continue on. When they arrive at Reikeiden's house, Genji and Reikeiden talk all night about old times. Genji promises to visit her more often so they can remember the past together. Then, Genji goes to look in on her younger sister, the Lady of the Orange Blossoms. The narrator notes that because Genji is so beautiful and kind, he succeeds in developing long-term relationships with most women.
Even while the particulars of Genji's relationships with Reikeiden and the Lady of the Orange Blossoms aren't explored here, it's still worth noting that these two women are dependent on Genji and Genji alone to keep them connected to the outside world, given that they've been forgotten by everyone else. This makes them vulnerable, as their reputations must be thought of before their desires in regards to their romantic relationships.
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