The Tale of Genji: A Visual Companion

Staff Pick

In terms of in uence, longevity, and sheer popularity in its country of origin, The Tale of Genji is probably unmatched by any other literary work. Japan’s, and likely the world’s,  first novel, it was written sometime during the Heian period (794-1185) by a noblewoman known only as Murasaki Shikibu. The original manuscript has been lost—the earliest extant text is a set of fifty-four illustrated scrolls from the
twelfth century—but the tale itself has been so thoroughly absorbed in Japanese culture that its characters and events exist in centuries’s worth of paintings, dramas, puppet theatre, and manga.  The beautiful The Tale
of Genji: A Visual Companion
(Princeton, $45), written by Melissa McCormick, professor of Japanese art and culture at Harvard, continues the illustrated tradition of this classic literary work, presenting full-color reproductions of the only complete Genji album pre-dating 1600, along with brief essays. McCormick provides a running summary of Genji’s complicated plot as well as illuminating commentary on the episodes chosen for representation in this particular album.

_the Tale of Genji_: A Visual Companion By Melissa McCormick Cover Image
$48.00
ISBN: 9780691172682
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Princeton University Press - November 6th, 2018