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Year 1000: The Tale of Genji

By: Kim Packard

Created March 2012

The Tale of Genji (源氏物語 Genji Monogatari) is a classic work of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early 11th century, around the peak of the Heian period. It is sometimes called the world’s first novel, the first modern novel, the first psychological novel or the first novel still to be considered a classic.

The Tale of Genji, Wikipedia

Annenberg Learner – Invitation to Literature: The Tale of Genji

Heian Period, Wikipedia

“The Tale of Genji has been translated into cinematic form several times: in 1951 by director Kōzaburō Yoshimura, in 1966 by director Kon Ichikawa, in 1987 by director Gisaburo Sugii, and in 2009 by director Osamu Dezaki. The latter two are anime. Sugii’s film is not a complete version, and basically covers the first 12 chapters, while adding in some psychological motivation that is not made explicit in the novel. Dezaki’s version is a television series.” (Wikipedia)



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Picture of Kenji



Ha, the other day i was reading a bit of Lady Murasaki's diary- as a fan of Shonagon's Pillow Book it made me laugh opening it straight to her describing (her court contemporary) Shonagon as a a snob. Shonagon's faults are all part of the charm of the Pillow Book

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