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Mapping Courtship and Kinship in Classical JapanThe Tale of Genji and Its Predecessors$
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Doris G. Bargen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824851545

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824851545.001.0001

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Courtship as Play and Performance

(p.105) Chapter 6 Genji
Mapping Courtship and Kinship in Classical Japan

Doris G. Bargen

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter demonstrates four different stages in Genji's use of the Heian courtship practice of kaimami, a secretive maneuver to disguise and thereby deflect attention from unnarrated tabooed affairs, such as Genji's with Fujitsubo; transgressive affairs, such as his attempted adultery with Utsusemi, his incognito adultery with Yūgao, and his affair with his half-brother Suzaku's intended, Oborozukiyo, that mirrors Genji's taboo violation with Fujitsubo; inappropriate or imaginary affairs that are playful versions of the above, such as the one with Suetsumuhana and Tamakazura. It also continues the exploration of Genji's semiarranged courtship, without kaimami, of Akashi no kimi. Finally, Genji becomes the unintended target of his rival, Kashiwagi, who catches a glimpse of Genji's wife by accident, at a game of kemari that Genji organized in the courtyard of Murasaki's southeast quarters of the Rokujō Estate and witnessed as a spectator.

Keywords:   kaimami, Genji's affairs, tabooed affairs, transgressive affairs, imaginary affairs, Genji's semiarranged courtship, Heian courtship

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