“The Tale of Genji,” written by Murasaki Shikibu, is a masterpiece of classical literature that has been read and retold for over a thousand years. While there are many old tales written by unknown authors, this work is noteworthy even for the simple fact its author is clearly known. The tale has been continuously read mostly among upper class readers ever since its first appearance. During the Edo period, however, due to the spread of publishing culture, it acquired a broader readership even beyond just the upper classes, bringing about a wave of interest that could even be called a "Tale of Genji boom." Many commentaries and summary digest versions have also been published and illustrated version in a variety of formats, including folding screens, handscrolls and printed booklets were produced. The tale also had a great influence on various traditional cultural practices such as tea ceremony, Noh theater and kōdō (the art of appreciating incense).
This exhibition will include the special featured loan of the National Treasure Diary of Murasaki Shikibu Illustrated Handscroll from the collection of the Gotoh Museum, Tokyo, and will throw light on the charm of Japan’s world-famous Tale of Genji by tracing the course of the cultural history pertaining to the tale.
Introducing the whole story of the National Treasure
"The Tale of Genji Illustrated Scrolls"
(in the collection of the Tokugawa Art Museum)
Welcome to the world of National Treasure Genji Monogatari Emaki