Tale of Genji


The Tale of Genji or Genji Monogatari is one of the most important works of the classical Japanese literature. Due to its enormous importance, The Tale of Genji is compared with The Odyssey and The Iliad.

This amazing work has had a great influence on later Japanese and world-wide art; it also has inspired many famous plays around the world.

The Tale of Genji was written by Murasaki Shikibu (975-1014); but very little is known about her life.

Historians say that her father was a modest writer called Fujiwara no Tametoki and her grandfather was the famous poet Kenesuki, whose poems are still very popular in Japan.

She also wrote Murasaki Shikibu Nikki that was another novel written in the same style than the tale of Genji.

This amazing work was written 1000 years ago and comprises about 54 chapters that tell about the adventures of the handsome Prince Hikaru Genji.
The first half deals with the life of Genji and the other half deals with the period after Genji's death especially in regard to the tragedies of his son, his grandson and three daughters of a ruined businessman.

This is a small excerpt from the book


見し人の


煙を雲と


眺むれば


夕べの空も


むつましきかな



mishi hito no


keburi o kumo to


nagamureba


yuube no sora mo


mutsumashiki ka na

The evening sky itself


becomes something to cherish


when I gaze at it,


seeing in one of the clouds


the smoke from her funeral pyre



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