In chapter 12 things start to take a turn for Genji. He goes into exile because of a scandal and his life takes a down turn from then on. Genji finally made up his mind to exile himself voluntarily in the city of Suma. The main reason for this was a form of escapism from the verdict of the imperial court. The conclusions of the court proceedings were to be publicly proclaimed against him. The most ironic issue about this was that he did not deem himself guilty and so he termed the verdict as unfair. This is ironic because all his acts indicate that he is guilty of not just the one count that he was being accused of, but also many others. He leaves voluntarily, I believe, so no one else would be effected.
The case that Genji is being accused of started when he was at the age of twenty-five. At around this time, the Rokuj┼Ź Haven had made the decision to place her daughter to the position of being the priestess of Ise. Another happening that had taken place was the death of the father to Genji. This experience had an adverse effect on Genji as he had earlier on lost his mother at the tender age of three. The lives of Oborozukiyo and Fujitsubo take on different turns as we see that Oborozukiyo is promoted to the post of being the Mistress of Staff for Suzaku and Fujitsubo ends up being a nun. Genji befriends a lady by the name of Oborozukiyo who is the Mistress of Staff for Suzaku. His actions are wrong as being a Mistress of Staff for Suzaku, Oborozukiyo is made to have an intimate relationship with Suzaku. Genji makes the grave immoral act of having escapes with her with complete disrespect for the law and Suzaku. Genji is completely disillusioned, as he does not realize his grave mistakes.
Genji's queer relations with women are evident when he has an intimate relationship with Lady Fujitsubo. This relationship is immoral because he is not supposed to have any sexual relations with this woman. While Genji was still having an affair with his stepmother, he meets with the niece to his stepmother. He does not get concerned of the young girls age, as she is too young or the matter that she is technically his cousin that he is hurting his marriage with his wife. He goes ahead to kidnap her and takes her to his palace. He takes her through schooling to make her his ideal wife. He engages in all this while he still has sexual escapades with his stepmother and married to his wife. Genji also engages in several other love affairs with other women.
During all these escapades, the political climate undergoes several changes. We find that the boy that Genji sires together with the Lady Fujitsubo ends up being the crown prince and the mother is made to be the empress. The emperor later succumbs to a short illness and dies. He is succeeded by the emperor Suzaku. Genji's wife dies after many bouts of depression and stress caused by Genji's amorous relationships with other women. This is after they have both reconciled and her giving birth to a baby for Genji. Both had died because of their husband's polygamous nature and they both died when their children whom they had born were quite very young. After the death of his father, Genji's enemies who were the Minister of the Right and the new Emperor's mother ("Kokiden") took control of the court.
All the above sexual escapades go unnoticed and unpunished. One typical amorous relationship finally catches up with him. Genji engages in a secret amorous relationship with one of his cousin's concubines. This illicit relationship is exposed and the emperor is forced by duty to exile Genji. Genji argues that he was still innocent and that the whole case was a political conspiracy by his political enemies. This is however not true as we see that he was guilty on all counts. To escape the verdict of the court, he decides to go to self-exile.
The possible reason that he cannot realize his grave mistakes is possibly due