Sunday, March 07, 2010

Folk tales and the Tale of Genji

Here is a smattering of Japanese folktales.

(And, for good measure my favorite Japanese ghost story.)

But the Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari) is no mere folktale. Although written over a thousand years ago, it weighs in at one thousand pages and is considered one of the world's first novels.

(The book's protagonist, Hikaru Genji, is not to be confused with the '90s boy band of the same name.)

Many of the sites featured in the novel can still be visited today, although they may have changed a bit in the last millennium.

Kyoto's Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine, said to be the tutelary shrine of the Minamoto (Genji) clan, to which Hikaru Genji belonged.

—Mellow Monk

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