1. Kiritsubo / The Paulownia Court(桐壺)
At the Court of an Emperor (he lived it matters not when)
Opening sentence of Genji translated by Waley. Seidensticker's translation is "In a certain reign". the latter is closer to the original.
Genji is "Once upon a time" story, like fairy tales and Star Wars.A good story takes the reader far beyond time and space. Let us also travel to the world of Genji.
Once upon a time, there was a woman who was loved by the emperor(Kiritsubo). Due to her low class, She was the subject of jealousy and criticism. She died of illness after giving birth to a beautiful prince. This prince is the hero of this story.When the prince was young, a Korean fortune teller predicted.
"He can be the father of the country. However, it will not make him happy"
The emperor considered the prince's happy. and he decided to make the prince his vassal (Genji).A woman looks like Kiritsubo enters the court(Fujitsubo).The emperor loves her. Genji also admires Fujitsubo like mother.
Introduction to the story. Several important events occur. The loss of his mother, power struggles, the prophecy of a fortune teller... these events have a impact on Genji's destiny. Genji is a family name given by the emperor. If a person did not have the right to succeed to the throne, he took the family name not as a prince, but as a vassal.