Now 26 (and 27 by the time the chapter plays out) Genji decides the proper course is self-exile (although there is little choice). His many indiscretions, and making enemies out of the wrong people, has made the decision inevitable. He, and his pining “ladies”, are going to have a bad year. Protocol dictates that any of his close companions (this would include any of his “ladies”) may not accompany him either. He ensconces himself at the deserted and down on its luck Suma coast, a secluded seaside backed by mountains, in what is now Kobe. Doesn’t sound too punitive, right? Maybe not for me, but for Genji, the very core of who he is has been ripped from his breast. Plus he worries about his son, the heir apparent? He worries about Murasaki. He worries about all his responsibilities to his lady friends. Can he survive? With his status intact?
One night a storm blows up (it’s an area that floods with the slightest breeze), and he takes this as a sign that he must leave this place. He has a dream in which he is summoned back to court. As the chapter closes, there are hints that his banishment may be nearing its end. Will he learn from this ordeal?