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Murasaki Shikibu and the Tale of Genji About 1000 years ago, the author known as Muarasaki Shikibu created the complex narrative Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari), which is now considered to be the world's first novel. Murasaki began writing stories about Prince Genji as a way to amuse her close circle of friends, but very soon the texts were recopied and circulated throughout Japan, winning her much admiration and a place in the entourage of Empress Shoshi. In 54 chapters Murasaki described the lives of three generations of courtiers and their families. Those fascinating stories about palace intrigues and romantic adventures have, in turn, inspired later authors and artists to emulate and illustrate various versions of the Tale of Genji. Murasaki's narrative has been one of the major sources of inspiration for the visual and performing arts of Japan for a millennium. Very little is known about the woman who wrote the Tale of Genji, even her personal name is uncertain, although she has long been called "Murasaki" after a major character in her story. Her father Fujiwara Tametoki was a poet and scholar of Chinese literature and held various political appointments during the Heian Period, including one in the Ministry of Ceremonies (Shikibu sho). Murasaki Shikibu demonstrates in her diary, poems and Genji that she had an extraordinary command of both Chinese and Japanese literature, and she is listed among Japan's 36 immortal poets (rokkasen).

Showing 1 to 50 of 92 Records


Tale of Genji: Ch. 24, Kocho

Masao Ebina
Ink on Paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 17, E Awase

Masao Ebina
Ink on Paper
20th c Japan Ukiyo-e Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 25, Hotaru

Masao Ebina
Ink on Paper
20th c Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 12, Suma

Masao Ebina
Ink on Paper
20th c Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 13, Akashi

Masao Ebina
Ink on Paper
20th c Japan Print

The Tale of Genji - Chapter 16 Sekiya

Hiromitsu Nakazawa
Ink on paper
20th c Japan Meiji Era, Japan Print

The Tale of Genji - Chapter 4 Yugao

Hiromitsu Nakazawa
Ink and colors on paper
20th c Japan Meiji Era, Japan Print

The New Tale of Genji - Cover Page

Hiromitsu Nakazawa
Ink and colors on paper
20th c Japan Meiji Era, Japan Print

At Night

Hiromitsu Nakazawa
Ink, colors, and silver metallic pigment on paper
20th c Japan Meiji Era, Japan Print

The Tale of Genji - Suma, Vol. 2

Kaoru Saito
Ink on paper
20th c Japan Early Modern Print

Practicing Penmanship - Tenarai

Masao Ebina
ink and colors on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

The Bridge of Dreams

Masao Ebina
Ink and colors on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 21, The Girls

Masao Ebina
Ink on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Genji Ch. 16 "Sekiya"

Masao Ebina
ink and colors on paper
20th c Japan Japanese, Modern Print

Tale of Genji, Chapter 29, "Miyuki"

Masao Ebina
Ink, colors, and metallic pigments in gold and silver on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji, Vol. 37, "Yokobue"

Masao Ebina
Ink, colors, and metallic pigments on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Modern Times, Chapter 1: Kiritsubo

Toyohara Kunichika
Ink and colors on paper
20th c Japan Meiji Era, Japan Print

The Red Plums: Kobai

Masao Ebina
Ink and colors on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 36, Kashiwagi

Masao Ebina
Ink and color on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 49, Mistletoe - Yadorigi

Masao Ebina
Ink and color on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Title Sheet, The Tale of Genji, Vol. 1

Kaoru Saito
Ink and colors on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Book

Chapter 1, Kiritsubo

Kaoru Saito
Ink and colors on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Book

Chapter 2, Hahakigi

Kaoru Saito
Ink and colors on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Book

Chapter 3, Utsusemi

Kaoru Saito
Ink and colors on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Book

Chapter 4, Yugao

Kaoru Saito
Ink and colors on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Book

Chapter 5, Wakamurasaki

Kaoru Saito
Ink and colors on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Book

Chapter 6, Suetsumahana

Kaoru Saito
Ink and colors on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Book

Tale of Genji: Ch. 20, Asagao

Masao Ebina
Ink and colors on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 9, Aoi

Masao Ebina
Ink and color on paper
20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Noh Play: Hajitomi

Tsukioka Kogyo
Ink on Paper
20th c Japan Taisho Era, Japan Print

One Hundred Noh Plays: Aoi no ue

Tsukioka Kogyo
Ink on Paper
20th c Japan Meiji Print

The Lattice Shutter (Hajitomi)

Tsukioka Kogyo
Ink on Paper
20th c Japan Meiji Print

The Bottle Gourds (Yugao)

Masao Ebina
Ink on paper
20th c Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 28, Nowake

Hiromitsu Nakazawa
Ink on Paper
20th c Japan Meiji Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 29, Miyuki

Hiromitsu Nakazawa
Ink on Paper
20th c Japan Meiji Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 38, Suzumushi

Hiromitsu Nakazawa
Ink on Paper
20th c Japan Ukiyo-e Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 3, Utsusemi

Hiromitsu Nakazawa
Ink on Paper
20th c Japan Ukiyo-e Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 40, Minori

Hiromitsu Nakazawa
Ink on Paper
20th c Japan Ukiyo-e Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 46, Shigamoto

Hiromitsu Nakazawa
Ink on Paper
20th c Japan Ukiyo-e Print


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