The Tale of Genji: A Novel in Six Parts. Volume one




Brasch PL788.4 G4 A29


London: Allen and Unwin


Murasaki Shikibu (born c. 978) is not the real name of the Japanese woman who wrote, what some believe to be, the first ever novel. Unconventionally, Murasaki was raised in her father’s household, and in a time when women were considered to lack real intelligence, she learnt the difficult language of Chinese alongside her brother. After leaving home, Murasaki became a lady-in-waiting in the Empress’s Court, and began writing The Tale of Genji in about 1000. On completion, the novel had over 1000 pages and 400 characters. Although the plotline of the book is lacking, the characters are well-developed, and it is considered to be a masterpiece. Uniquely, this ‘first novel’ was written by a woman, ostensibly for, other women. This copy is sinologist, Arthur Waley’s, translation.


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Murasaki Shikibu (Translated by Arthur Waley), “The Tale of Genji: A Novel in Six Parts. Volume one,” | OUR Heritage, accessed September 25, 2023,