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Tale of Genji (abridged) translated by Edward Seidensticker

Describe the aristocratic culture and practice of Heian Japan using examples from the Tale of Genji.

In so doing, discuss:

(1) the nature of marriage politics,

(2) the significance of social rank in relations,

(3) the role of poetry,

(4) the influence of Buddhism on the Heian court nobles.


(5) write your opinion about Genji’s relationship with Murasaki, and

(6) try to explain why many people consider the Tale of Genji as the world’s one of the greatest novels.