(Tosa Mitsuoki : Court Life)
The elder daughter,
like delicate plum blossom,
as Spring dawns. She would never
be described as a scandal.
The Tale of Genji was written by a lady-in-waiting called
Murasaki Shikubu in the 11th century. She delivered the
tale in instalments to nyokan (aristocratic women.)
Here is a little taste, but the tanka are my own.
The illustrations are by Tosa Mitsuoki, from the 17th century.
The prose translation I relied on was Edward Seidensticker’s
and I found it online at The University of Adelaide’s site.
I trust my re-structuring of the tale into chokas and the odd
tanka is sufficiently transformative and original.
Yugiri, the son
of Genji, arrives in court
with a love poem
and purple flowers because
the girl is not his sister.