This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Tale Of Genji Essay

2145 words - 9 pages

The Tale of Genji is seen as many things, whether it is the first novel written or the world’s first psychological novel. In this book, Murasaki Shikibu tells the story of Hikaru Genji and his experiences. The Tale of Genji is considered the world’s first novel; the story takes us through the birth and death of Genji, a smart, attractive, and talented boy. Genji, is the second son of Emperor Kiritsubo and as the son of an emperor Genji’s life is extremely controlled, whether it be arranged marriages or having little to no secrecy. Through his extra-ordinary life, Genji deals with very ordinary circumstances; various love affairs, some of which bearing children, and the death of loved ones. Shikibu is able to capture her readers in this book by writing with enough emotion and detail that the story is given validity through the chapters. The validity is captured in the many of the stories conflicts whether it be; a father making the right decision, feeling close to someone who resembles one’s mother, reliving lost loves, losing a loved one, or having a son then losing your wife. Shikibu brings these stories to life in The Tale of Genji in a way that brings truth to the very story she is telling.
The Tale of Genji begins like most beginnings with the birth of our main character, Genji. His mother was Kiributsu, the emperor’s favorite consort, but she had did not have a strong family background and was such criticized by jealous on-lookers. Kiributsu shortly becomes sick and passes away, which leaves Genji without truly knowing his mother. Genji is immediately seen as a beautiful child and quickly becomes his father’s favorite son. This makes the emperor distraught in that due to Genji being the second born son, he cannot be named crown prince. The emperor hesitates in granting this honor onto his first son but due to the way it would look, he reluctantly chooses his first born to be his successor. (Ch. 1)
In this scenario Shikibu is able to capture reality in such a simple event by retelling a very common occurrence. When one chooses what is right over what one wants. Genji is smart, handsome, talented, and everything and more that a father wants in a child, which makes it obvious as to why the emperor wants him as his heir. The emperor’s first born was the son of Lady Kokiden who was of royal blood, the backing his first son received became an added pressure in that if the emperor chose to make Genji his heir then this decision would not end up looking good by the royal family. The emperor made a choice that has been made by so many, that Shikibu is able to have the emperor relate to many of her readers. With this tiny part of the book she is able to put the lesson of choosing what is right over what is wanted into the collection of lessons that The Tale of Genji holds.
Genji grows older and not only becomes married to Princess Aoi, but he also gains a strong friendship with his brother in law, To-no-Chujo. The two friends like many boys,...

Find Another Essay On The Tale of Genji

The Tale of Genji: A Classic in Japan

1693 words - 7 pages The Tale of Genji is considered one of the greatest works in Japanese literature. In it contains a great richness and detail about court life and expectations during the Heian period. The author, Murasaki Shikibu, lived in the palace during the time she was under the service of Empress Akikio, which no doubt greatly influenced her writing of the Tale of Genji (Waley, x, xxi-xxii). In this book, Genji, also known as the Shining Prince, is the

Ideal Man and Woman in The Tale of Genji

1756 words - 7 pages the killer of other women. This strange period of women and men relationships have changed since then, but certainly can not be forgotten. Works Cited Smits, Gregory. Chapter three: The Heian Period Aristocrats. Retrieved from Tyler, Royall. (2006). Tale of Genji. England: Penguin Group.

Ideal Man and Woman in The Tale of Genji

1569 words - 6 pages phenomenon of danson-johi, women should pretend to be unintelligent in order to accelerate men’s status in the society. In conclusion, through important quotas from Genji monogatari and my own interpretations, significant characteristics and traits on an ideal man and an ideal of the Heian court have ultimately displayed. Works Cited Female Hero: Murasaki Shikibu (Women in World History Curriculum. Biographies: Female Hero of Asia: Japan. Retrieved: February 28, 2011 from Shikibu, Murasaki. The Tale of Genji: The Broom Tree. Tyler, Royall. Published by the Penguin Group: New York. 2006.

Commentary and Analysis of Feelings in The Tale of Genji and The lai of Equitan

795 words - 4 pages for the lady’s husband. The lady dies soon after by the hands of her husband. Any sympathy that we might have felt for this couple disappears once death was plotted towards the husband. In The Tale of Genji, women who showed signs of jealousy were considered sinners because it was forbidden at court. For example in chapter four, Genji meets and falls in love with a lady named Yūgao. Yūgao was one of Genji’s little adventures he had away from court

The Ideal of a Man, the Ideal of a Woman of the Heian Court Based on the Tale of Genji

1400 words - 6 pages Seen from descriptions in the most prominent literature works in Heian era, such as Ise Monotagari, Kagerō Nikki, Izumi Shikibu Nikki, Makura-no-Shōshi, and Genji Monogatari, gender roles during the period were implicitly or explicitly defined, and I assume, because of this climate, they were considered as major parts of the society, and vice versa. There are many characters appearing in Genji Monogatari. I think each of them is a representation

The Ideal of a Man and Woman of the Heian court Based on the Tale of Genji

1571 words - 6 pages In this paper I will be discussing the ideals of a man based on the Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu with translations by Royall Tyler, beginning with some background information on what the Tale of Genji is, then moving on to discuss the ideals that were presented in the story and how the ideals are contradicted. The Tale of Genji, otherwise known as Genji Monogatari, is a classic Japanese literary work that was written by Murasaki Shikibu

The Ideal of a Man and Woman of the Heian court Based on the Tale of Genji

1498 words - 6 pages contrast with the Japanese Heian-era notions of the ideal man and woman as portrayed in Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji. When assessing these ideals, one must also take into account the fact that this novel describes the somewhat atypical Japanese Heian court life as opposed to the daily life of commoners. When assessing Tale of Genji and attempting to understand the ideal qualities of a man or woman of the time, one must also take into account

Hikaru Genji: The Chase of the Eternal One

1159 words - 5 pages In the epic novel written by Murasaki Shikibu during the Heian period of the Japan, the leading character Hikaru Genji was described a nearly flawless person. The wisdom, the perfect looking, the personal background as a prince----every piece of his characteristic was the presentation of attractive, or "shining", as what Murasaki Shikibu illustrated by his name. With the qualities that make Genji "shines", as what was expected, Genji had a huge

The Ideal of a Man & The Ideal of a Woman of the Heian Court Based on Genji Monogatari

1339 words - 5 pages which men and women were measured were more defined. Genji monogatari suggests the standards to which the sexes should be measured and gives examples of people who meet the standards. It goes without saying that Genji, the hero of the tale, is the perfect man. Throughout the tale, every character, whether they liked Genji or not, in some way or another admitted to or acknowledged his high caliber. In the Heian court, the most significant

The Tale of Boudicca

1555 words - 7 pages “Great leaders undergo reinvention throughout different periods of history” to what extent does this statement reflect the image and interpretation of Boudicca since the first century AD? The tale of Boudicca, the warrior queen dates back to 60 AD, when the Celts rose up in revolt against their Roman oppressors. Yet the only ancient written sources about the battle today are riddled with bias and fabrications. All due to the fact that history is

The Tale of the Heike

1075 words - 5 pages The Tale of the Heike is a Japanese epic poem relating the rise and eventual, inevitable fall of the Taira clan, also referred to as the Heike, during the end of the 12th century. The epic consists of thirteen books. Within the first five, the consolidation of power by the Taira is outlined featuring the “tyrant” Taira no Kiyomori. After Kiyomori’s death in the sixth book, the focus shifts to the rival clan, the Minamoto or Genji, as they

Similar Essays

The Tale Of Genji Essay

1791 words - 7 pages desirable to the hero, while his continual gestures of desire for her renew their connection. In this way, the ideal woman and the ideal man are linked yet removed from the beginning of the tale, creating an undercurrent of tension that adds to the depth of Genji Monogatari. Works Cited Shikibu, Murasaki. Tyler, Royall, ed. and trans. The Tale of Genji. Penguin Group, New York: 2001.

Gender Issues In "The Tale Of Genji"

1251 words - 5 pages The Tale of Genji is a classic work of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh century, around the peak of the Heian period. It is sometimes called the world's first novel, the first modern novel, the first psychological novel or the first novel still to be considered a classic. While universally hailed as a masterpiece, its precise classification and influence in both Western and Eastern

The Cultural Significance Of The Tale Of Genji

945 words - 4 pages The Cultural Significance of The Tale of Genji The Tale of Genji is one of the most important stories of ancient Japanese literature. Japanese scholar Sin Ohno said that there is no literature written during the Heian Era which is written in as precise language as The Tale of Genji. The author, Murasaki Shikibu, is a woman. In this tale, we can see the concept towards marriage of women during her period. During the Nara Era, and some

The Ideal Man And Woman In The Tale Of Genji

1410 words - 6 pages Similar to current male views of the perfect women, the ideals in the Heian period were various depending on the man. However, with that being said, there are still common features that each man’s “perfect woman” shares. In the tale of Genji, the author Murasaki Shikibu dedicates almost a whole chapter to a conversation between four men, including the famous Genji, about their ideal woman. Tō no Chūjō, a Guards Captain in the tale describes