Akashi 明石
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
A pictorial subject based on Chapter 13 of GENJI MONOGATARI 源氏物語 (The Tale of Genji). In the third month, a storm devastates Genji's residence at *Suma 須磨, and that night in a dream he receives an omen from his late father. As the dream predicts, Genji is visited the next day by a retired courtier who has taken vows with the priest of Akashi Akashi no Nyuudou 明石の入道. Genji accepts an invitation to the priest's mansion and soon becomes involved with his daughter, known as the Akashi Lady Akashi no Ue 明石の上. Meanwhile, factions change at court and Emperor Suzaku 朱雀 calls Genji back to the capital, by which time the Akashi Lady is pregnant. The child will become Empress Akashi Akashi no Chuuguu 明石中宮 who, along with the wealth that her mother brings into Genji's household, proves to be a most important factor in solidifying Genji's rising position at court. Frequent illustrations include: the priest playing a lute, biwa 琵琶, and Genji accompanying on the Japanese harp, koto 琴, as they gaze upon the island of Awaji 淡路; and Genji going to visit the Akashi Lady, riding on horseback along the moonlit coast in the eighth month.

*genji-e 源氏絵 

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