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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 37 of 37 Records


Tale of Genji: Ch. 24, Kocho

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 17, E Awase

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Ukiyo-e Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 25, Hotaru

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 12, Suma

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 13, Akashi

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Print

Practicing Penmanship - Tenarai

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

The Bridge of Dreams

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 21, The Girls

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Genji Ch. 16 "Sekiya"

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Japanese, Modern Print

Tale of Genji, Chapter 29, "Miyuki"

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji, Vol. 37, "Yokobue"

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

The Red Plums: Kobai

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 36, Kashiwagi

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 49, Mistletoe - Yadorigi

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 20, Asagao

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 9, Aoi

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

The Bottle Gourds (Yugao)

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 11, Hanachirusato

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 47, Agemaki

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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 1, Kiritsubo

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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 2, Hahakigi

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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 3, Utsusemi

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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 8, Hana no En

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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 14, Miotsukushi

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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 50, Azumaya

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20th c Japanese Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 52, Kagero

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20th c Japanese Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 11, Hanachirusato

Masao Ebina
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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 44, Takegawa

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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 1, Kiritsubo

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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 2, Hahakigi

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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 3, Utsusemi

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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 4, Yugao

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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 5, Wakamurasaki

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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 7, Autumn Celebration

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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 8, Hananoen

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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print

Tale of Genji: Ch. 9, Aoi

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20th c Japan Showa Era, Japan Print


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