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A classic of Japanese literature and candidate for the world s first novel, The Tale of Genji tells the story of the son of the emperor and his descent to commoner status. Genji s life of ever-changing fortunes and romances offer the reader a unique look at Japan s golden age and the drama of the Imperial Court. One of the first literary works to feature compelling character psychologies and development, The Tale of Genji remains an essential read for historians and literary scholars alike.
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Lady Murasaki Shikibu, born in 978, was a member of the famed Fujiwara clan-one of the most influential families of the Heian period. After the death of her husband, Shikibu immersed herself in Buddhism, and the religion's influence permeates her writing.
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