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Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji

Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji

“If you are scorched earth, I will be warm rain” - Murasaki Shikibu.

This lovely line is from Shikibu’s 11th century, profoundly influential work The Tale of Genji, which is often referred to as the world’s first novel. Our illustration is inspired by the wagasa (a Japanese umbrella), the shape suggesting the sun’s rays beating down on a windswept landscape. 

The BBC shared a beautiful three minute mini documentary about the work. The period art alone is worth a view - it’s stunning. A few stills and a link below. 

BBC: The Tale of Genji: The World's First Novel


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