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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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Exiting the Maze

Exiting the Maze

(p.196) Chapter 8 Exiting the Maze
Mapping Courtship and Kinship in Classical Japan

Doris G. Bargen

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter ventures into the genealogical complexities generated by acts of courtship performed by two third-generation characters, the highly self-conscious Kaoru and his dashing friend and rival Niou. Through an analysis of their pursuit of various women, the chapter maps courtship literally, with geographical charts, and figuratively, with genealogical diagrams. In the last ten chapters of the Genji, the Uji chapters, courtship takes place in a religious and political context that expresses the characters' quests for enlightenment, their place in Genji genealogy, and their liberation from the social constraints of the Heian marital system. The chapter then concludes with a similar uncertainty of imperial succession that the Genji had begun with.

Keywords:   Uji chapters, Genji genealogy, geographical charts, genealogical diagrams, mapping courtship, Heian marital system, enlightenment, religion, imperial succession

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