Written text from the earliest
illustrated handscroll (12th century) of The Tale of
is a classic work of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh 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 to still be considered a classic, though this issue is a matter of debate (see Stature below).
The first partial translation of Genji Monogatari
English was by Suematsu Kenchō
A free translation of all but one chapter was produced by Arthur Waley
. Edward Seidensticker
made the first
complete translation into English, using a more literal method than
Waley. The most recent English translation, by Royall Tyler
(2001), also tries to
be faithful to the original text. Diet
member Marutei Tsurunen
made a translation in Finnish.
was written chapter by chapter in installments,
as Murasaki delivered the tale to women of the aristocracy (the
). It has many elements
found in a modern novel
: a central character
and a very large number of major and minor characters,
well-developed characterization of all the major players, a
sequence of events happening over a period of time covering the
central character's lifetime and beyond. The work does not make use
of a plot
; instead, much as in real
life, events just happen and characters evolve simply by growing
older. One remarkable feature of the Genji
, and of
Murasaki's skill, is its internal consistency, despite a
four hundred characters. For instance, all characters age in step
and all the family and feudal
are consistent among all chapters.
One complication for readers and translators of the Genji
is that almost none of the characters in the original text is given
an explicit name. The characters are instead referred to by their
function or role (e.g. Minister of the Left), an honorific
(e.g. His Excellency), or their
relation to other characters (e.g. Heir Apparent), which may all
change as the novel progresses. This lack of names stems from
Heian-era court manners that would have made it unacceptably
familiar and blunt to freely mention a character's name. Modern
readers and translators have, to a greater or lesser extent, used
various nicknames to keep track of the many characters. See
characters from The Tale of Genji
The Tale of Genji
is an important work of Japanese
literature, and numerous modern authors have cited it as
inspiration. It is noted for its internal consistency,
psychological depiction, and characterization. The novelist
said in his
acceptance speech: "The
Tale of Genji
in particular is the highest pinnacle of
Japanese literature. Even down to our day there has not been a
piece of fiction to compare with it".
is also often referred to as "the first novel",
though there is considerable debate over this — some of the debate
involving whether Genji
can even be considered a "novel".
Some consider the psychological insight, complexity and unity of
the work to qualify it for "novel" status while simultaneously
disqualifying earlier works of prose fiction. Others see these
arguments as subjective and unconvincing. Related claims, perhaps
in an attempt to sidestep these debates, are that Genji
the "first psychological novel" or "historical novel
", "the first novel still
considered to be a classic" or other more qualified terms. Claiming
that it is the world's first novel inevitably denies the claims of
Daphnis and Chloe
, which Longus
Heliodorus of Emesa
wrote, both around the third century, and in Latin
in the first century
's Golden Ass
in the second, as well as
which author Bānabhatta
wrote in the seventh century.
(The debate exists in Japanese as well, with comparison between the
— "tale" — and
The novel and other works by Lady Murasaki are standard staple in
the curricula of Japanese schools. The Bank of Japan issued the
banknote in her honor,
featuring a scene from the novel based on the 12th century
The debate over how much of the Genji
was actually written
by Murasaki Shikibu
has gone on for
centuries and is unlikely to ever be settled unless some major
archival discovery is made. It is generally accepted that the tale
was finished in its present form by 1021, when the author of the
famous diary entry about her joy at acquiring a complete copy of
the tale. She writes that there are over fifty chapters and
mentions a character introduced near the end of the work, so if
other authors besides Murasaki Shikibu did work on the tale, the
work was done very near to the time of her writing. Murasaki Shikibu's own diary
includes a reference to the tale, and indeed the application to
herself of the name 'Murasaki' in an allusion to the main female
character. That entry confirms that some if not all of the diary
was available in 1008 when internal evidence suggests convincingly
that the entry was written.
, the first author to make
a modern translation of the Genji
, believed that Murasaki
Shikibu had only written chapters One to Thirty-three, and that
chapters Thirty-five to Fifty-four were written by her daughter
Daini no Sanmi. Other scholars have doubted the authorship of
chapters Forty-two to Forty-four (particularly Forty-four, which
contains rare examples of continuity mistakes).
According to Royall Tyler's introduction to his English translation
of the work, recent computer analysis has turned up "statistically
significant" discrepancies of style between chapters 45–54 and the
rest, and also among the early chapters. But this discrepancy can
also be explained by a change in attitude of the author as she grew
older, and the earlier chapters are often thought to have been
edited into their present form some time after they were initially
One of the frequent arguments made against the multiple authorship
idea is that the Genji
is a work of such genius that
someone of equal or greater genius taking over after Murasaki is
Illustration of ch.16 -- 関屋
("At The Pass").
(12th century Tokugawa Art Museum handscroll Genji Monogatari
Illustration of ch.37 -- 横笛
(12th century Tokugawa Art Museum handscroll Genji Monogatari
Illustration of ch.39 -- 夕霧
(12th century Gotoh Museum handscroll Genji Monogatari Emaki
Illustration of ch.48 -- 早蕨
(12th century Tokugawa Art Museum handscroll Genji Monogatari
Illustration of ch.48 -- 宿り木
(12th century Tokugawa Art Museum handscroll Genji Monogatari
The work recounts the life of a son of a Japanese emperor
, known to readers as
, or "Shining
Genji". Neither appellation is his actual name: is simply another
way to read the Chinese characters for the real-life , to which
Genji was made to belong. For political reasons, Genji is relegated
to commoner status (by being given the surname Minamoto) and begins
a career as an imperial officer.The tale concentrates on Genji's
romantic life and describes the customs of the aristocratic society
of the time. Much is made of Genji's good looks.
Genji was the second son of a certain ancient emperor and a
low-ranking concubine (known to the readers as Lady Kiritsubo). His
mother dies when Genji is three years old, and the Emperor cannot
forget her. The Emperor then hears of a woman ("Lady Fujitsubo
"), formerly a princess of the
preceding emperor, who resembles his deceased concubine, and later
she becomes one of his wives. Genji loves her first as a
stepmother, but later as a woman. They fall in love with each
other, but it is forbidden. Genji is frustrated because of his
forbidden love to the Lady Fujitsubo and is on bad terms with his
wife (Aoi no Ue
).He also engages
in a series of unfulfilling love affairs with other women. In most
cases, his advances are rebuffed, his lover dies suddenly during
the affair, or he finds his lover to be dull in each instance. In
one case, he sees a beautiful young woman through an open window,
enters her room without permission, and forces her to have sex with
him. Recognizing him as a man of unchallengeable power, she makes
no resistance, saying only that "Someone might hear us". He
retorts, "I can go anywhere and do anything."
Genji visits Kitayama, the northern rural hilly area of Kyoto,
where he finds a beautiful ten-year-old girl. He is fascinated by
this little girl ("Murasaki
discovers that she is a niece of the Lady Fujitsubo. Finally he
kidnaps her, brings her to his own palace and educates her to be
his ideal lady; like the Lady Fujitsubo. During this time Genji
also meets the Lady Fujitsubo secretly, and she bears his son.
Everyone except the two lovers believes the father of the child is
the Emperor. Later, the boy becomes the Crown Prince
and Lady Fujitsubo becomes the
Empress, but Genji and Lady Fujitsubo swear to keep their
Genji and his wife Lady Aoi reconcile and she gives birth to a son,
but she dies soon after. Genji is sorrowful, but finds consolation
in Murasaki, whom he marries. Genji's father, the Emperor, dies;
and his political enemies, the Minister of the Right and the new
Emperor's mother ("Kokiden") take power in the court. Then another
of Genji's secret love affairs is exposed: Genji and a concubine of
his brother, the Emperor Suzaku, are discovered when they meet in
secret. The Emperor confides his personal amusement at Genji's
exploits with the woman ("Oborozukiyo"), but is duty-bound to
punish his half-brother. Genji is thus exiled to the town of Suma in rural Harima
province (now part of Kobe in Hyōgo
There, a prosperous man from Akashi
in Settsu province
(known as the Akashi Novice)
entertains Genji, and Genji has a love affair with Akashi's
daughter. She gives birth to a daughter. Genji's sole daughter
later becomes the Empress.
In the Capital, the Emperor is troubled by dreams of his late
father and something begins to affect his eyes. Meanwhile, his
mother grows ill, which weakens her powerful sway over the throne.
Thus the Emperor orders Genji pardoned, and he returns to Kyoto.
His son by Lady Fujitsubo becomes the emperor and Genji finishes
his imperial career. The new Emperor Reizei knows Genji is his real
father, and raises Genji's rank to the highest possible.
However, when Genji turns 40 years old, his life begins to decline.
His political status does not change, but his love and emotional
life are slowly damaged. He marries another wife, the "Third
Princess" (known as Onna san no
in the Seidensticker version, or Nyōsan
in Waley's). She bears the son of
Genji's nephew later ("Kaoru"). Genji's new marriage changes the
relationship between him and Murasaki, who now wishes to become a
Genji's beloved Murasaki dies. In the following chapter,
("Illusion"), Genji contemplates how fleeting
life is. Immediately after Maboroshi
, there is a chapter
("Vanished into the Clouds") which is
left blank, but implies the death of Genji.
The rest of the work is known as the "Uji Chapters". These chapters
follow Niou and Kaoru, who are best friends. Niou is an imperial
prince, the son of Genji's daughter, the current Empress now that
Reizei has abdicated the throne, while Kaoru is known to the world
as Genji's son but is in fact fathered by Genji's nephew. The
chapters involve Kaoru and Niou's rivalry over several daughters of
an imperial prince who lives in Uji
, a place
some distance away from the capital. The tale ends abruptly, with
Kaoru wondering if the lady he loves is being hidden away by Niou.
Kaoru has sometimes been called the first anti-hero
As mentioned in the previous section, the tale ends abruptly, in
mid-sentence. Opinions have varied on whether the ending was the
intended ending of the author.
, who made the first
English translation of the whole of The Tale of Genji
believed that the work as we have it was finished. Ivan Morris
, author of The World of the
, believed that it was not complete, but that
only a few pages or a chapter at most were "missing". Edward Seidensticker
, who made the
second translation of the Genji
, believed that it was not
finished, and that Murasaki Shikibu did not have a planned story
structure with an "ending" and would simply have gone on writing as
long as she could.
Because it was written to entertain the Japanese court of the
eleventh century, the work presents many difficulties to modern
readers. First and foremost, Murasaki's language, Heian Period
court Japanese, was highly
inflected and had very complex grammar. Another problem is that
naming people was considered rude in Heian court society, so none
of the characters are named within the work; instead, the narrator
refers to men often by their rank or their station in life, and to
women often by the color of their clothing, or by the words used at
a meeting, or by the rank of a prominent male relative. This
results in different appellations for the same character depending
on the chapter.
Another aspect of the language is the importance of using poetry
in conversations. Modifying or rephrasing a
classic poem according to the current situation was expected
behavior in Heian court life, and often served to communicate
thinly veiled allusions. The poems in the Genji
in the classic Japanese tanka
form. Many of the poems were well known to the intended audience,
so usually only the first few lines are given and the reader is
supposed to complete the thought herself, much like today we could
say "when in Rome..." and leave the rest of the saying ("...do as
the Romans do") unspoken.
As with most Heian literature, the Genji
written mostly (or perhaps entirely) in kana
(Japanese phonetic script) and not in Chinese characters because it
was written by a woman for a female audience. Writing in Chinese
characters was at the time a masculine pursuit; women were
generally discreet when using Chinese symbols, confining themselves
mostly to pure Japanese words.
Outside of vocabulary related to politics and Buddhism, the
contains remarkably few Chinese loan words. This has
the effect of giving the story a very even, smooth flow. However,
it also introduces confusion: there are a number of words in the
"pure" Japanese vocabulary which have many different meanings and,
for modern readers, context is not always sufficient to determine
which meaning was intended.
Murasaki was neither the first nor the last writer of the Heian
period, nor was the Genji
the earliest example of a
". Rather, the Genji
other tales of the time in the same way that William Shakespeare
's plays outshine
other Elizabethan drama
Pages from the illustrated handscroll
from the 12th century
The complexities of the style mentioned in the previous section
make it unreadable by the average Japanese person without dedicated
study of the language of the tale.Therefore translations into
modern Japanese and other languages solve these problems by
modernizing the language, unfortunately losing some of the meaning,
and by giving names to the characters, usually the traditional
names used by academics. This gives rise to anachronisms; for
instance Genji's first wife is named Aoi because she is known as
the lady of the Aoi chapter, in which she dies.
Both scholars and writers have tried translating it. The first
translation into modern Japanese was made by the poet Yosano Akiko
. Other known translations were
done by the novelists Jun'ichirō Tanizaki
and Fumiko Enchi
Because of the cultural difference, reading an annotated version of
is quite common, even among Japanese. There are
several annotated versions by novelists, including Seiko Tanabe,
Osamu Hashimoto and Jakucho Setouchi. Many works, including a
series and different television dramas,
are derived from The Tale of Genji
. There have been at
least five manga adaptations of the Genji
. A manga version
by Waki Yamato
(The Tale of
in English), is widely read among Japanese youth,
and another version
Miyako Maki, won the Shogakukan
Most Japanese high-school students read a little bit of the
(the original, not a translation) in their Japanese
In 2008, WorldCat
identifies 88 editions of
this book. The five major translations into English are each
slightly different — mirroring the personal choices of the
translator and the period in which the translation was made. Each
version has its merits, its detractors and its advocates; and each
is distinguished by the name of the translator. For example, the
less widely circulated version translated by Marutei Tsurunen
would typically be
referred to as "the Tsurunen Genji
The generally recognized "best" translations were created by
, Arthur Waley
, Edward G. Seidensticker
, Helen McCullough
and Royall Tyler
Major English translations in chronological
- "The Suematsu Genji" -- Suematsu's Genji was
the first translation into English, but is considered of poor
quality and is not often read today. Significantly, only a few
chapters were completed.
- Suematsu, Kenchō. (1882). The Tale of Genji. London:
- "The Waley Genji" -- Waley's Genji is
considered a great achievement for his time; but purists have
pointed out many errors and some have criticized the overly-free
manner in which changes were made to Murasaki's original text.
However, when the Waley Genji was first published, it
could not have been more eagerly received. For example,
Time explained that "the reviewers' floundering tributes
indicate something of its variegated appeal. In limpid prose The
Tale combines curiously modern social satire with great charm of
narrative. Translator Waley has done service to literature in
salvaging to the Occident this masterpiece of the Orient."
- The Seidensticker Genji -- Seidensticker's
Genji is an attempt to correct what were perceived to have
been Waley's failings without necessarily making his translation
obsolete. Seidensticker hews more closely to the original text, but
in the interests of readability, he takes some liberties. For
example, he identifies the cast of characters by name so that the
narrative can be more easily followed by a broad-based audience of
- Murasaki Shikibu. (1976). The Tale of Genji (tr. Edward G.
Seidensticker). New York: Alfred A.
Knopf. 10-ISBN 0-394-48328-6;
13-ISBN 978-0-394-48328-3 (cloth) -- 10-ISBN 0-394-73530-7; 13-ISBN
- The Tyler Genji -- Tyler's Genji contains
more extensive explanatory footnotes and commentary than the
previous translations, describing the numerous poetical allusions
and cultural aspects of the tale. Tyler consciously attempted to
mimic the original style in ways that the previous translations did
not. For example, this version doesn't use names for most
characters, identifying them instead by their titles in a manner
which was conventional in the context of the 11th century original
text. Tyler's version "makes a special virtue of attending to a
certain ceremonial indirectness in the way the characters address
one another. The great temptation for a translator is to say the
unsaid things, and Tyler never gives in to it."
- Murasaki Shikibu. (2001) The Tale of Genji. (tr.
Royall Tyler). New York: Viking Press.
10-ISBN 0-670-03020-1; 13-ISBN 978-0-670-03020-0 (cloth)
- ________________. (2002). The Tale of Genji (tr. Royall Tyler).
New York: Penguin Classics. 10-ISBN
0-142-43714-X; 13-ISBN 978-0-142-43714-8 (paper)]
- 4,400 pages of English edition (translation by Edward Seidensticker) of Braille version of The Tale of Genji is
completed in 2008 by five Japanese housewives in Setagaya, Tokyo as voluntary work in 5
years. This Braille version
had been donated to "Japan Braille Library (日本点字図書館)" and the
Congress of United
States and it is/will be down loaded through
The novel is traditionally divided in three parts, the first two
dealing with the life of Genji, and the last dealing with the early
years of two of Genji's prominent descendants, Niou and Kaoru.
There are also several short transitional chapters which are
usually grouped separately and whose authorship is sometimes
- Genji's rise and fall
- Youth, chapters 1–33: Love, romance, and exile
- Success and setbacks, chapters 34–41: A taste of power and the
death of his beloved wife
- The transition (chapters 42–44): Very short episodes following
- Uji, chapters 45–54: Genji's official and secret descendants,
Niou and Kaoru
The last and therefore 54th chapter "The Floating Bridge of Dreams"
is argued sometimes a separate part from the Uji part by the modern
scholars. It seems to continue the story from the previous
chapters, but has an unusually abstract chapter title. It is the
only chapter whose title has no clear reference within the text,
but this may be because the chapter is unfinished. (This question
is more difficult because we do not know exactly when the chapters
acquired their titles.)
List of chapters
The English translations here are taken from the Edward
Seidensticker and the Royall Tyler translations. The first version
refers to Seidensticker's edition, the second, to Tyler's. It is
not known for certain when the chapters acquired their titles.
Early mentions of the Tale refer to chapter numbers, or contain
alternate titles for some of the chapters. This may suggest that
the titles were added later. The titles are largely derived from
poetry that is quoted within the text, or allusions to various
| "Paulownia Court"
| "Paulownia Pavilion"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Broom Tree"
| "Shell of the Locust"
| "Cicada Shell"
| "Evening Faces"
| "Twilight Beauty"
| "Young Murasaki"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Safflower"
| "Autumn Excursion"
| "Beneath the Autumn Leaves"
| "Festival of the Cherry Blossoms"
| "Under the Cherry Blossoms"
| "Sacred Tree"
| "Green Branch"
| "Orange Blossoms"
| "Falling Flowers"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Suma"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Akashi"
| "Channel Buoys"
| "Pilgrimage to Sumiyoshi"
| "Wormwood Patch"
| "Waste of Weeds"
| "At The Pass"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Picture Contest"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Wind in the Pines"
| "Rack of Clouds"
| "Wisps of Cloud"
| "Morning Glory"
| "Jeweled Chaplet"
| "Tendril Wreath"
| "First Warbler"
| "Warbler's First Song"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Butterflies"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Fireflies"
| "Wild Carnation"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Typhoon"
| "Royal Outing"
| "Imperial Progress"
| "Purple Trousers"
| "Thoroughwort Flowers"
| "Cypress Pillar"
| "Handsome Pillar"
| "Branch of Plum"
| "Plum Tree Branch"
| "Wisteria Leaves"
| "New Wisteria Leaves"
| "New Herbs, Part I"
| "Spring Shoots I"
| "New Herbs, Part II"
| "Spring Shoots II"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Oak Tree"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Flute"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Bell Cricket"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Evening Mist"
| "Vanished into the Clouds"
| "His Perfumed Highness"
| "Perfumed Prince"
| "Rose Plum"
| "Red Plum Blossoms"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Bamboo River"
| "Lady at the Bridge"
| "Maiden of the Bridge"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Beneath the Oak"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Trefoil Knots"
| "Early Ferns"
| "Bracken Shoots"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Ivy"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Eastern Cottage"
| "Boat upon the Waters"
| "A Drifting Boat"
| "Drake Fly"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Writing Practice"
| colspan="2" align="center"| "Floating Bridge of Dreams"
Illustration of ch.5 -- 若紫
(Credited to Tosa Mitsuoki, 1617–1691)
Illustration of ch.
20 – 朝顔 Asagao ("The Bluebell").
(Credited to Tosa Mitsuoki)
Illustration of ch.42 – 匂宮 Niō
("The Perfumed Prince").
(Credited to Tosa Mitsuoki)
Illustration of ch.50 -- 東屋
(12th century Tokugawa Art Museum handscroll)
The additional chapter between 41 and 42 in some manuscripts is
called 雲隠 (Kumogakure
) which means "Vanished into the
Clouds" — the chapter is a title only, and is probably intended to
evoke Genji's death. Some scholars have posited the existence of a
chapter between 1 and 2 which is now lost, which would have
introduced some characters that (as it stands now) appear very
Later authors have composed additional chapters, most often either
between 41 and 42, or after the end.
The original manuscript written by Murasaki Shikibu is no longer
extant. Numerous copies, totaling around 300 according to Ikeda
Kikan, exist with differences between each. It is thought that
Shikibu often went back and edited early manuscripts introducing
discrepancies with earlier copies.
The various manuscripts are classified into three categories:In the
13th century, two major attempts by Minamoto no Chikayuki and
were made to edit and
revise the differing manuscripts. The Chikayuki manuscript is known
as the Kawachibon
; edits were many beginning in 1236 and
completing in 1255. The Teika manuscript is known as the
; its edits are more conservative and thought
to better represent the original. These two manuscripts were used
as the basis for many future copies.
category represents all other manuscripts not
belonging to either Kawachibon
This includes older but incomplete manuscripts, mixed manuscripts
derived from both Kawachibon
On March 10th, 2008, it was announced that a late Kamakura period
manuscript was found in Kyōto. It is the sixth chapter
"Suetsumuhana" and is 65 pages in length. Most remaining
manuscripts are based on copies of the Teika manuscript which
introduced revisions in the original. This newly discovered
manuscript belongs to a different lineage and was not influenced by
Teika. Professor Yamamoto Tokurō who examined the manuscript said,
"This is a precious discovery as Kamakura manuscripts are so rare."
Professor Katō Yōsuke said, "This is an important discovery as it
asserts that non-Teika manuscripts were being read during the
On October 29th, 2008, Konan
announced that a mid-Kamakura period
manuscript was found.
It is the 32nd chapter, Umegae
, and is recognized as the
oldest extant copy of this chapter dating between 1240-1280. This
manuscript is 74 pages in length and differs from
Aobyōshi manuscripts in at least four places, raising the
"possibility that the contents may be closer to the undiscovered
Murasaki Shikibu original manuscript".
The Tokugawa Art Museum in Nagoya
houses the oldest illustrated scrolls, dating to the 1130's
A twelfth century scroll, the Genji Monogatari Emaki
illustrated scenes from the Genji together with handwritten
text. This scroll is the earliest extant example of
a Japanese "picture scroll": collected illustrations and
calligraphy of a single work. The original scroll is believed to
have comprised 10-20 rolls and covered all 54 chapters. The extant
pieces include only 19 illustrations and 65 pages of text, plus
nine pages of fragments. This is estimated at roughly 15% of the
envisioned original. The Tokugawa Art Museum in Nagoya has three of the
scrolls handed down in the Owari
branch of the Tokugawa clan and one
scroll held by the Hachisuka family is now in the Gotoh Museum in Tokyo.
The scrolls are designated National Treasures of Japan
scrolls are so fragile that they normally are not shown in public.
The original scrolls in the Tokugawa Museum are going to be shown
from November 21 to November 29 in 2009. Since Heisei 13, they have
been displayed in the Tokugawa Museum always for around one week in
November. An oversize English photoreproduction and translation was
printed in limited edition by Kodansha
International (Tale of Genji
, ISBN 0-87011-131-0).
Other notable versions are by Tosa
, who lived from 1617 to 1691. His paintings are
closely based on Heian style from the existing scrolls from the
12th century and are fully complete. The tale was also a popular
theme in Ukiyo-e
prints from the Edo period
The Tale of Genji
has been translated into cinematic form
several times. In 1951 by director Kōzaburō Yoshimura
, in 1966 by
director Kon Ichikawa
, and in 1987 by
director Gisaburo Sugii
. The latter
is an animatedfilm
The last 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. In 2001 Tonko Horikawa
made an adaptation with an
all-female cast. In the movie, Sennen no Koi - Hikaru
("Genji, A 1000-Year Love"), Murasaki
tells the Genji story to a girl as a lesson on men's behavior. The
1955 Kenji Mizoguchi
(or Princess Yang Kwei-fei
) can be seen as
a sort of prequel to Genji
Early in 2009 Genji
, an 11 episode TV anime
based on Genji Monogatari
, was shown on
Japanese television. This animated adaption was directed by
Tale of Genji has also been adapted into an opera by Miki Minoru, composed during 1999 and first
performed the following year at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis,
with original libretto by Colin Graham (in English), later translated into Japanese by the
- Ivan Morris, The World of the Shining Prince (1964),
- The Diary of Lady Murasaki, ed. Richard Bowring,
Penguin Classics 2005, p.31, note 41. In his introduction to the
text, Bowring discusses its dating which, in any case, is generally
accepted by most authorities. Royal Tyler, in his edition of the
Tale of Genji cited below, also draws attention to the
entry in Murasaki Shikibu's diary: see the Penguin Books edition,
2003, Introduction, p.xvii
- ""Who are you?" She was frightened... Her surprise pleased him
enormously. Trembling, she called for help". A Boy And His Toys: Gender Relationships in "The Tale of
- Seidensticker (1976: xi)
- Walker, James. Big in Japan: "Jakucho Setouchi: Nun re-writes
The Tale of Genji", Metropolis. No. 324;
Spaeth, Anthony. "Old-Fashioned lover", Time. December
- "Genji Finished", Time. July 3,
- Takatsuka, Masanori. (1970). Brief remarks on some mistranslations in Arthur
Waley's Tale of Genji, p. ]
- "In All Dignity," Time. August 27,
- [Chicago} "Jap Lothario", Time. August
- "Jap Lothario II," Time. May 24,
- Wood, Michael. "A Distant Mirror," Time. March 11,
- Yamagishi (1958: 14)
- Yamagishi (1958: 14-16)
- Nihon Koten Bungaku Daijiten (1986: 621-622)
- The Tale of Genji, 1654 Library of
Congress, Asian Division. The edition in the Library
of Congress is a complete and well-preserved set including the
complete main text (54 volumes) of Tale of Genji, also Meyasu (3
volumes, commentary on key words and phrases in the text, Keizu
(genealogy), Yamaji no tsuyu (a sequel to the work by a later
author), and Hikiuta (index).
- The Tale of Genji 1976 Seidensticker
translation Online text of complete 1976 Seidensticker
translation without the notes and with numerous typos. (The
illustrations included in the Knopf edition of this translation are
reproduced at the UNESCO heritage site below.)
- Japanese Literature - Including Selections from Genji
Monogatari and Classical Poetry and Drama of Japan
Contains the 1882 Suematsu translation of the first 17 chapters of
The Tale of Genji, with an introduction and notes.
- The Texts of Genji Monogatari Original text,
romanized version, and modern Japanese translation of The Tale
of Genji at the University of Virginia Library.
- Tale of the Genji woodcuts Woodcut
illustrations and accompanying excerpts at the UNESCO Global
- Murasaki Shikibu: Genji monogatari (1987) An
animated film based on The Tale of Genji.
- The Picture Scroll of The Tale of
Genji Some scans of the Genji Monogatari Emaki
(Tale of Genji Scroll). Only about half of the images are
from the twelfth century scroll; they are the darker colored, more
Tale of Genji A photographic guide to The Tale of
- The Tale of Genji: Genealogical chart
A family tree detailing the various relationships of the characters
in The Tale of Genji.
- The Tale of Genji Audiobooks Japanese
reading of 7 of 54 chapters from the original text, mp3 files.
- Japan Finance Minister Announces Kyoto Coin Design
with The Tale of Genji Theme The Kyoto Prefecture
commemorative coin set for release in October 2008 features a scene
from The Tale of Genji.
- Carving of Picture Scroll of Genji
monogatariPaper carvings by Noda Kazuko reproducing the 18
extant illutrations of the 13th century Genji monogatari
- Costume Museum: Fūzoku Hakubutsukan Dolls dressed in
Heian fashion and placed in Heian-inspired interiors.
Gallery A nice collection of Ukiyo-e and Shin-hanga, including
illustrations of The Tale of Genji by such artists as
Ebina Masao and Utagawa Kunisada.
- Tale of Genji Scroll 18th century
anonymous artist Available at Darmouth College, it covers the
first 16 chapters of the tale.
- The Tale of Genji by Miyata Masayuki
Paper cuts by renowned artist Miyata Masayuki.
- Kunisada II- Illustrations of The Tale of
GenjiUniversity of Alberta Art& Artifact Collection.
Utagawa Kunisada II Collection.