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Cover thumbnail for Genji Genji

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 38 of 38 Records


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

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 48, Sawarabi

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 49, Yadorigi

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

The Twilight Beauty

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 19, Usugumo

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 6, Suetsumahana

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 5, Wakamurasaki

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 7, Momiji no Ga

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 8, Hana no En

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 9, Aoi

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 10, Sakaki

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 13, Akashi

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 17, E-Awase

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 21, Otome

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 20, Asagao

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 12, Suma

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 18, Matsukaze

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 39, Yugiri

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 50, Azumaya

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 1, Kuritsubo

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

Tale of Genji: Ch. 2, Hahakigi

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


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