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Genji Story Emaki
Beautiful, but Loneliness
Date:31, Jan, 2021
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


It is supposed Genji Story is very popular all over the world. As you know, Genji Story is the fictional tale written by Murasaki-shikibu during several years from the latter of the 10th century to the early 11th century. They say it kept being popular after Murasaki passed away. We can find many authors who have translated it into recent words: Hashimoto Osamu and Enchi Fumiko.

Naturally, the popular story has been tried to visualize by many who desired to see the characters actually. Then we can say Genji Story must be like Sherlock Holmes Stories written by Conan Doyle in the West. Anyway, there were also some longing to see how the characters were actually, in the 12th century. What proves? It is Genji Story Emaki owned by Tokugawa Museum today.

Hashimoto Osamu (1948-2019) supposed that Emaki were the origin of story manga. Emaki consist of pictures and words called Kotoba-gaki. We see the both, read the story. He told that manga became all popular in Japan since we Japanese people had been familiar with Emaki that developed in the 12th century. And Genji Story Emaki appeared in the 12th century, they say.



Hashihime Words from the Genji Story Emaki
Had by Tokugawa Museum
File: Genji emaki HASHIHIME Ms.JPG
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(July 1, 2020)

Looking at the emaki, I believe the words parts look so beautiful. Beautiful is it. About one thousand years passed, we still find it beautiful and graceful.

On the other hand, I felt the characters all looked kind of lonely. They all belonged to the high class, but I felt they appeared no expressive. Are they truly happy? And it is reasonable that they all look lonely. Genji Story is based on pathos, not Quelle Joie de Vivre. I suppose the pictures naturally needed to include loneliness for expressing the stories.



Kashiwagi 2 from the Genji Story Emaki
Had by Tokugawa Museum
File: Genji emaki Kashiwagi.JPG
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(June 30, 2020)






 

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