Tuesday, October 10, 2006

10-11-06 The Tale of Genji (IV)

Look closely at the relationship between the Rokujo Lady and Aoi throughout this chapter and leading up to Aoi's illness and subsequent death. Do you thin there realyl is a connection?What do you think really happened? Also, do you think Genji's views of Aoi really changed?

I hope you all enjoyed your vacations! :)


Blogger Lyndsay said...

I believe that their relationship did have a great inpact on Aoi's illness and death. When Aoi got sick her doctors said that "It seemed small likelihood that the spirit of an ordinary person would be so persistant... The ladies Rokujo and Nijo seem to be the only ones he (Genji) really cares about. Both prbably hate her ladyship" 138. Rokujo was constantly "agonizing" (pg 138) over her relationship with Genji, and later stated in innerdiologue that "...the trivial dispute over the carriage space had stirred emotions of which people at the mansion had no conception" 139. And only later did Rokujo "recognised the possibility that hers (spirit) had gone astray... there had been that trifiling incident on the day of the purification... and now she was unable to control her agitation" 140. The Rokujo lady is too obsessed and upset with Aoi to not be the evil spirit. She even recognized the chance that her spirit had left to torment Aoi... And now would be a better time than ever, because Aoi was still pregnant with Genji's child, and after the child's birth (to Rokujo) there would be no chance to take Genji away from her. Once Aoi had the child then Genji migh leave Rokujo for good.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Kyle said...

I do think that their is a connection to Aoi's illness and subsequent death. I believe the ralationship to the Rokujo Lady caused this illness and death. In the begining of the chapter, we find out that Genji has moved up in court and is a higher firgure. Therefore, people will always know what he is or is not doing. Because of this i believe that Aoi could have found out about their affair and became severly sick, leading to her ultimate death. "He had not always got along with Aoi" 138. Also, (on the same page) it says that Aoi has shown "signs of being caused by a malignant spirit." Due to the face that Genji and the Aoi did not get along could have had another impact on her illness. While Genji could have tried to work things out with her, instead he decided to go out and have affairs with other women, the Rokujo Lady. I do not know if his views changed of Aoi. It says that Genji did not go out and sat all day in prayer. Also, when it talks about Genji thinking about how the couple wanted another child, "worse than the proverbial shattering of a jewel on a sleeve." I believe he misses her dearly, but I am not sure if his views have changed.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I believe that, in the realm of the story, Rokujo's spirit was responsible for Aoi's death.

Throughout the story Rokujo has been greatly upset by Genji's wandering affections and there are several incidents in this chapter that would cause Rokujo to direct her frustrations at Genji and Aoi.

First, in the beginning of the chapter it is mentioned that rumors had circulated that Genji was simply "toying" with the Rokujo lady. This can only be humiliating for the aging widow.

Furthermore, though Aoi has never been competition for Genji's affection in the past, with her illness and pregnancy, Genji began to turn his attention to Aoi.

Finally, at the purification procession, Rokujo was publically humiliated when Aoi's carriage, accompanied by some of Genji's men, forced her carriage out of view. This probably was the most mortifying for Rokujo.

After these events, Aoi became increasingly sick, the doctors stated that a "malignant" spirit was involved. When Genji spoke with Aoi, he recognized that he was in fact speaking with Rokujo, who had possessed her.

Rokujo also realized that her spirit may be the cause -- every night she had the same dream of attacked the Aoi lady.

One last thing to keep in mind is that Rokujo has been a suspect for having wandered by spirit before, in the case of Yugao.

All in all, in Heian Japan, malignant spirits are very much a reality, and it seems that Murasaki Shikibu gives many hints that Rokujo's spirit is the one to blame.

11:50 PM  
Blogger Kieran said...

The relationship between Aoi and The Rokujo lady is a very interesting and mystical relationship. There is most definitely a connection between Aoi’s sickness and death in pregnancy and The Rokujo lady. The Kamo festival was a point of confrontation between the two and it was Aoi who won the spot to see Genji. This was so because she is Genji’s formal wife in the eyes of the public. The Rokujo lady was very embarrassed. Genji heard this account and says” Why does it have to be this way? I wish they wouldn’t treat each other as enemies. (135)” Yet this just fueled the passionate quarrel between them. I know it is, again, a lazy thing to do but I believe spirits had a part to play in Aoi’s death. I am unsure whether it is the actual competing spirit of Rokujo or another bad spirit taking life from Aoi. Either way it is a very sad ending to her life that hits Genji very hard.

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