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Lady Murasaki, The Tale of Genji

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years ago

Week 13: Medieval China IDs


Lady Murasaki, The Tale of Genji


Amna Ahmed


Murasaki Shikibu, known as Lady Murasaki because she was a lady-in-waiting to the empress, lived in a time in Japan when the woman held a low position in society. Because of this, many details about her life are unknown. She is believed to have been born in 973 CE and died around 1025 CE. Her father allowed her to study with her brother and learn Chinese characters, something improper for girls at that time. The Tale of Genji is the first novel not only of Japanese literature, but of literature in general. It is considered to be one of the greatest and earliest novels in the world. The tale explores the different themes of love, affection, friendship, filial loyalty, and family. This work describes the elegant and refined society of the Heian period as it follows the story of Prince Genji, the handsome young son of an emperor and discusses all his virtues including beauty, grace, talent, and sensitivity.


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