The Journal of Japanese Studies



Rivalry, Triumph, Folly, Revenge: A Plot Line through The Tale of Genji

This essay argues that The Tale of Genji has a four-phase plot:  rivalry, triumph, folly, and revenge.  In the first phase, Genji struggles against his elder half-brother Suzaku, supported by the emperor, the brothersí father.  During his exile the Sumiyoshi deity and the late emperorís spirit intervene to assure his triumph.  In phase three, he rashly marries Suzakuís favorite daughter and then provokes the Rokujo ladyís spirit, which strikes back with consequences that ruin both his and Suzakuís last years.  In the final phase, Suzakuís angry spirit pursues Kaoru, Genjiís alleged son, through the women Kaoru loves.

Volume 29, Number 2 (Summer 2003)
© 2003 Society for Japanese Studies


Marie Anchordoguy and Kevin M. Doak, Coeditors     Martha L. Walsh, Managing Editor
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