The characters of The Tale of Genji do not possess birth names.
The Tale of Genji
Instead they are assigned sobriquets derived from poetic exchanges e. Murasaki takes her name from a poem by Genji , from the particular court positions they occupy in the Tyler translation, characters are often referred to by such terms as His Highness of War, Her Majesty the Empress, His Grace, the Palace Minister and so on , from their geographical location e.
Lady Akashi who lived on the Akashi coast before meeting Genji , or from the name of their residence e.
Genji, Murasaki, Akashi, Utsusemi, etc. Similarly, many women writers of the Heian period left behind their sobriquets alone.
Following Genji, all the other characters are introduced following the chronology of the events in the tale. However, this chronology does not take into account the first time a character is mentioned, but rather the time a character actually makes his or her debut into the tale.
Some of the character descriptions below include a reference to the chapter in which the character is introduced to the narrative. Important characters are in capital letters. She accidentally attracts Genji's attention during one of his visits to the Governor of Kii's mansion. Ritual purification also forced the women of the Iyo Deputy's household, Utsusemi included, to temporarily reside in the same place.
Having heard some feminine voices and the movements in an adjacent room, Genji becomes interested in the Governor's step-mother, whom he already knew was young and potentially attractive.
Once the lady realizes who he really is, she is terrified and would like to call for help, were it not for her awareness that such a discovery would only bring her shame. Even so, she still rejects his advances and keeps strong despite his seductive words, until Genji, at a loss, can only think of taking her away to a more private location. Genji's rank and status is simply too high for the two women to dare raise a commotion. Other critics however, most prominently Margaret Childs,  prefer to reject this interpretation as unfounded.
After the incident in question, Genji tries to see the lady two more times. The first time, she finds out about his arrival and takes refuge into another wing of the house, where she surrounds herself with her ladies-in-waiting.
Frustrated, Genji ends up taking her younger brother to bed, as her replacement. This episode is considered the sole explicit example of homosexual relations in the tale. The second time, Genji manages to get close to her and he even gets to spy on her playing go with her step-daughter, Nokiba no ogi.
After having spied on her, Genji, with the complicity of Utsusemi's younger brother, Kogimi, steals into her chamber again.
Aware of his presence, Utsusemi manages to escape from Genji's embrace by discarding her outer robe like a cicada discards its shell hence the chapter title. In her desire to escape him, the lady also abandons behind her sleeping step-daughter, who becomes Genji's unwitting prey. Unwilling to admit defeat, or rather to sleep alone for the night, Genji makes do with what is left behind and ends sleeping with Nokiba no ogi, who does not even imagine she has been the victim of mistaken identity.
At the end of the fourth chapter, "Yugao", Utsusemi leaves the capital with her husband who has been appointed governor of a province. Nokiba no ogi also gets married and leaves the narrative. They exchange poems, and Utsusemi is shown to regret not being able to accept Genji's advances because of Utsusemi's marriage and differences in rank.
The reason behind her decision is her desire to escape the unwelcome amorous attentions of her step-son, the Governor of Kii. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Tyler, Royall and Susan.
Murasaki Shikibu 's The Tale of Genji. The Tale of Genji Genji Monogatari c. Aoi no Ue The Diver Genji monogatari.