Murasaki Shikibu

Murasaki Shikibu (mōˌräsäˈkē shēˌkēbōˈ) [key], c.978–1031?, Japanese novelist, court figure at the height of the Heian period (795–1185). Known also as Lady Murasaki, she is celebrated as the author of the romantic novel Genji-Monogatari [tale of Genji], one of the first great works of fiction to be written in Japanese. It concerns the life of Prince Genji and his descendants and is a subtle and thorough delineation of a complex society.

See her diary translated by R. Bowring (1982); modern translations of Genji by E. G. Seidensticker (1978) and R. Tyler (2001).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Asian Literature: Biographies


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