As has been noted in the last two posts, the infamous indirection of classical Japanese is insufficient to mask the fact that Genji is up to some serious — and in some cases punishable by long prison stints — hanky-panky. Indeed, at the beginning of the second chapter, our author warns us that Genji is utterly deplorable, but is at a loss to say whether his mostly successful efforts to keep his waywardness from being noised abroad make his sins better or worse. Well, as an attorney, I am unable to resist the desire to see them enumerated, in the cold light of day, according to modern American criminal and tort law. So without further ado, here are THE CRIMES OF GENJI, through the first four chapters. I have also, for the sake of completeness, described his torts.
1 count rape (of Utsusemi)
2 counts criminal trespass (entering Utsusemi’s rooms twice without permission or invitation, once to rape her, and once when he makes a second attempt and accidentally gets caught up with her Go-playing friend)
1 petty larceny (taking Utsusemi’s shift)
1-to-infinite counts stalking (Genji of Utsusemi; Koremitsu of Yugao, on Genji’s directions)
1-to-infinite counts of aiding/abetting/accessory before-and-after-the-fact for stalking (Utsusemi’s little brother, for helping Genji to harass his sister; Genji, for directing Koremitsu to spy on Yugao)
1 negligent homicide (Yugao)
At civil law, Genji could probably could get sued for assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress on Utsusemi, as well as conversion, for making off with her shift. Depending on the jurisdiction, outrage may also be a possibility, since inveigling her little brother into helping him was total creep stuff. Yugao’s family could likely sue Koremitsu/Genji for invasion of privacy (all that spying!) and Genji for wrongful death, as it’s just plain irresponsible for anyone as handsome as the Shining Genji to go larking around with ladies in old castles, given the 100% probability that those castles are haunted by jealous ghosts.
So, quite a parade of horribles! Barren of its lines of flower-referencing poetry, the tale is one of aristocratic decadence and moral turpitude, fit to make a marxist sigh and dream sweet dreams. What vile violations will the next four chapters hold? One shudders to think.