75 The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki

With a strong claim to be the first novel in history, the Japanese classic The Tale of Genji (ca. 1001-1012), by Murasaki Shikibu, or Lady Murasaki, is one of the world’s greatest literary masterpieces. But who was Lady Murasaki, and what compelled her to write this story of an idealized prince and his many lovers? How innovative was she? And do the intrigues of the imperial Japanese courts from a thousand years ago still have the power to fascinate, entertain, and instruct us today? 

Show Notes: 

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Music Credits:

Handel – Entrance to the Queen of Sheba” by Advent Chamber Orchestra (From the Free Music Archive / CC by SA).

“Ritual” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


2 thoughts on “75 The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki”

  1. Hello! I loved this chapter! Really good quotes at the end. Just a few historical inaccuracies, like the fact that Murasaki Shikibu wasn’t exactly a teacher to Empress Shoushi, but a nyoubou (court lady). I really enjoy the analysis on Genji’s personality. Other women wrote at Heian period, it has to do with the fact that women from aristocracy were expected to write poetry (at least), maybe you would like reading other works like: Izumi Shikibu Nikki, Makura no Soushi and Kagerou Nikki.
    I also read the podcast on Tang Poetry, did you now that the Genji Monogatari has a lot of references to Bai Juyi (Po Chu Yi)?
    I would love it if you made more chapters on Asian Literature!

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