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Tale of Genji 源氏物語 is worth reading!

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Kiritsubo View Drop Down
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    Posted: 02 Dec 2019 at 12:30
In Tale of Genji (源氏物語)one of the world oldest literature written by the woman author, Murasaki Shikibu, 紫式部 in Japan around the year 1008 was marvelous. Of course, the time was the absolute predominance of men over women, and that women generally weren’t given family names unless she was a wife of the emperor or some sort.  Murasaki Shikibu was an excellent woman who had been employed by the most powerful man in those days, Fujiwara Michinaga 藤原道長, as a tutor for his daughter. In the book, she was writing hilarious and analytical things about life of women as follows;

Things they find unattractive in women:

Hair tucked behind the ears

Doing nothing but housework

Wantonness (e.g. indulging in shameless banter)

Being pious and stuffy

Garlic breath

Cursive writing 



When we are too busy, we tucked the hair behind the ears.
cursive writingErmm

I'll make some research about it and will come back Smile



Edited by Kiritsubo - 02 Dec 2019 at 13:01
Things they find unattractive in women: Hair tucked behind the ears Doing nothing but housework Wantonness Being pious and stuffy Garlic breath Cursive writing
The Tale of Genji (11C)
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franciscosan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Dec 2019 at 14:08
Used to own it, but never got around to reading it, maybe I should consider picking it up again.  
There are Greek and Roman "novels" from late antiquity, but I suspect that those do not compare to the Tale of Genji.  I am not sure which should win the claim of the first novels.  If the Greek and Roman "novels" deserve the title of "novel" then the Greeks and Romans.  If not, then maybe lady Murasaki deserves the title of first novel.
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Kiritsubo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kiritsubo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Dec 2019 at 14:45
IMO, The Tale of Genji written by the Lady Murasaki was the first love romance story ever written, as far as I hear.  Greek and Roman have enormous number of great literature, poems, before 8C, right? Genji is popular as its romance of one good looking guy’s love affair, looking for his ideal woman endlessly was interestingWink  
Things they find unattractive in women: Hair tucked behind the ears Doing nothing but housework Wantonness Being pious and stuffy Garlic breath Cursive writing
The Tale of Genji (11C)
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Kiritsubo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kiritsubo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2019 at 00:21
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Used to own it, but never got around to reading it,
You used to own it? 
SmileBig smileThumbs UpThumbs Up
Not many people own it! Wow wow wow You must own a lot of books!
Things they find unattractive in women: Hair tucked behind the ears Doing nothing but housework Wantonness Being pious and stuffy Garlic breath Cursive writing
The Tale of Genji (11C)
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franciscosan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2019 at 10:32
I have a lot of books, I have read some Japanese literature in translation, Some Prefer Nettles by Tanizaki, Snow Country (forget the author, please remind me if you know who I am talking about, he may have won the Nobel or other prestigious award), 47 Ronin.  I had good intentions of reading Lady Murasaki's Tale of Genji, but never did it.  But, with your insight into it, maybe it is something to pick up again.  I like what I have seen of Japanese movies, Kurosawa of course, but also Taxing Woman, and Taxing Woman II and Woman in the Dunes (originally written by Kono Abe(?))  In the past, (20-25 years ago), I was into manga for a time, and anime, like Rumiko Takahashi.  But, that was a time before manga and anime commercially broke into the American market, and a group of us would watch anything we could get our hands on. 

I think it is part of the nature of men to complain about women, but also for women to complain about men.  And then there is Ranma 1/2, but that is another story.  I do not know about what women think, but I do know that part of the reason men complain is that they cannot help but think about women. Most of the time women and men think in a similar manner, but in some things they differ, and that is part of what makes it interesting:)

It sounds like Greek and Roman New Comedy (plays) is more similar to the story of the Tale of Genji, than what scholars call ancient novels, like Apuleius "The Golden Ass," or the story of Psyche and Eros.  New Comedy is situational comedy, or what on TV would be called sitcoms.  people in life getting into absurd situations of everyday life.

I think that I should look into Tale of Genji again.

by the way (BTW) you wrote about Perry in Japanese but it was too complicated for me to read.  If you want to privately send what you said in English to me, you can do that through a PM (private message).

Kind regards,
John
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