< Sacred Tree, Sacred Branch>
Text(Edward G. Seidensticker; The Tale of Genji)
<Heartvine>  P163-13
Genji presently heard the story of the competing carriages. He was sorry for the Rokujo lacy and angry at his wife. It was a sad fact that, so deliberate and fastidious, she lacked ordinary compassion. There was indeed a tart, forbidding quality about her. She refused to see, though it was probably an unconscious refusal, that ladies who were to each other as she was to Rokujo lady should behave with charity and forbearance. It was under her influence that the men in her service flung themselves so violent about. Genji sometimes felt uncomfortable before the proud dignity of Rokujo lady, and he could imagine her rage and humiliation now.
He called upon her. The high princess, her daughter, was still with her, however, and, making reverence for the sacred sakaki her excuse, she declined to receive him.

<The Sacred Tree>  P187-01
The evening moon burst forth and the figure she saw in its light was handsome beyond describing.
Not wishing to apologize for all the weeks of neglect, he pushed a branch of the sacred tree in under the blinds.

<The Sacred Tree>  P187-05
"With heart unchanging as this evergreen,
This sacred tree, I enter the sacred gate."

<The Sacred Tree>  P187-08
"You err with your sacred tree and sacred gate.
No beckoning cedars stand before my house."

<The Sacred Tree>  P190-13
The procession left the palace in the evening. It was before Genji's mansion as it turned south from Nijo to Doin. Unable to let it pass without a word, Genji sent out a poem attached to a sacred branch:
"You throw me off; but will they not wet your sleeves,
The eighty waves of the river Suzuka?"
It was dark and there was great confusion, and her answer, brief and to the point, came the next morning from beyond Osaka Gate.

<The Sacred Tree>  P200-08
He sent it through Chujo, with this message for Chujo herself: "A traveler, I feel my heart traveling yet further afield; but your lady will not have taken note of it, I suppose."
This was his message for the princess herself:
"The gods will not wish me to speak of them, perhaps,
But I think of sacred cords of another autumn.
'Is there no way to make the past the present?"
He wrote as if their relations might permit of a certain intimacy. His note was on azure Chinese paper attached most solemnly to a sacred branch from which streamed ritual cords.

<New Herbs U>  P595-20
"Deep in the night the frost has added strands
To the sacred branches with which we make obeisance."

<New Herbs U>  P595-29
There were traces of dawn and the frost was heavier. The Kagura musicians had had such a good time that response was coming before challenge. They were perhaps even funnier than they thought they were. The fires in the shrine courtyard were burning low. "A thousand years" came the Kagura refrain, and "Ten thousand years,"and the sacred branches waved to summon limitless prosperity for Genji's house.

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