The Diary recorded by Lady Murasaki (c. 973-c. 1020), author of The Tale of Genji, is an intimate picture of her life as tutor and companion to the young Empress Shoshi. Told in a series of vignettes, it offers revealing glimpses of the Japanese imperial palace - the auspicious birth of a prince, rivalries between the Emperor's consorts, with sharp criticism of Murasaki's fellow ladies-in-waiting and drunken courtiers, and telling remarks about the timid Empress and her powerful father, Michinaga. The Diary is also a work of great subtlety and intense personal reflection, as Murasaki makes penetrating insights into human psychology - her pragmatic observations always balanced by an exquisite and pensive melancholy.
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About the Author
Lady Murasaki lived in Japan at the end of the ninth century. She was the author of The Tale of the Genji, which has been hailed as the first novel. Richard Bowring has also translated The Tale of the Genji and is editor of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Japan.
Table of Contents
A Note on Japanese Names and Dates
THE DIARY OF LADY MURASAKIAppendix I: Ground-plans and Map
Appendix II: Additional Sources
A Guide to Further Reading
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very rewarding! Slow and deep study only for a true intellectual!
The Diary of Lady Murasaki gives the reader a chance to experience life in the Imperial Court. The entries into her diary are very detailed and they bring the reader into the descriptions. I feel the author shares her life with the reader in the daily happenings of the Imperial court and also the way she describes her surroundings to bring reality to her written word. I also think there are instances when she doesn't give the whole story but stops short. The book also has sections in regards to her life history, the history of what is occuring during the time she is writing the diary, the family tree and also architecture of the time. This allows the reader to connect a little more with the book because you can understand where she is coming from.