Tale of Genji

Murasaki Shikibu

Murasaki Shikibu (mōō´räsä´kē shē´kēbōō´), c.978–1031?, Japanese novelist, court figure at the height of the Heian period (795–1185). Known also as Lady Murasaki, she is celebrated as the author of the romantic novel Genji-Monogatari [tale of Genji], one of the first great works of fiction to be written in Japanese. It concerns the life of Prince Genji and his descendants and is a subtle and thorough delineation of a complex society.

See her diary translated by R. Bowring (1982); modern translations of Genji by E. G. Seidensticker (1978) and R. Tyler (2001).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Tale of Genji: A Novel in Six Parts
Lady Murasaki; Arthur Waley.
Modern Library, 1960
Idealism, Protest, and the Tale of Genji: The Confucianism of Kumazawa Banzan (1619-91)
James Welsh McMullen.
Oxford University, 1999
Images of Japanese Women: A Westerner's View
Bettina L. Knapp.
Whitston, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji: Search for the Mother"
18th Century Japan: Culture and Society
C. Andrew Gerstle.
Curzon Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "The Tale of Genji in the Eighteenth Century: Keichu, Mabuchi, Norinaga"
Heroic with Grace: Legendary Women of Japan
Chieko Irie Mulhern.
M.E. Sharpe, 1991
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Murasaki Shikibu: The Court Lady"
Gender Is Fair Game: (Re)thinking the (Fe)male in the Works of Oba Minako
Michiko N. Wilson.
M. E. Sharpe, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Marinated in Memory: 'Conversations' with Lady Murasaki" begins on p. 123
Japanese Literature: An Introduction for Western Readers
Donald Keene.
Grove Press, 1955
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of The Tale of Genji begins on p. 70
Masterworks of Asian Literature in Comparative Perspective: A Guide for Teaching
Barbara Stoler Miller.
M.E. Sharpe, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of The Tale of Genji begins on p. 390
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