The Tale of Genji - Research Article from Literature and Its Times

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 28 pages of information about The Tale of Genji.
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The Tale of Genji

by Murasaki Shikibu

The Tale of Genji, considered the world’s first great novel, describes the life of Japanese court society during the Heian period (794-1185) about 50 years before the lifetime of the author, Murasaki Shikibu (c. 973- 1030). Murasaki Shikibu is a nickname (adopted from a character in the novel) of the court lady who composed the work while serving as companion to Sh-oshi, (988-1074), the daughter of the powerful regent Fujiwara no Michinaga (966- 1027). During Murasaki Shikibu’s lifetime, chapters of The Tale of Genji circulated independently; it was unusual to have a copy of all the chapters for consecutive reading. The earliest existing fragments of a complete manuscript appear in an early mid-twelfth-century scroll, the Illustrated Genji Scroll, which was transcribed 150 years after the death of the author. The final ten chapters of the novel present a style...

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This section contains 8,117 words
(approx. 28 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Tale of Genji Encyclopedia Article
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The Tale of Genji from Gale. ©2008 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.