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The essays examine the canonization of the work from the late Heian through the medieval, Edo, Meiji, Taisho, Showa, and Heisei periods, revealing its profound influence on a variety of genres and fields, including modern nation building.


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They also consider parody, pastiche, and re-creation of the text in various popular and mass media. Since the Genji was written by a woman for female readers, contributors also take up the issue of gender and cultural authority, looking at the novel's function as a symbol of Heian court culture and as an important tool in women's education. Throughout the volume, scholars discuss achievements in visualization, from screen painting and woodblock prints to manga and anime. Taking up such recurrent themes as cultural nostalgia, eroticism, and gender, this book is the most comprehensive history of the reception of The Tale of Genji to date, both in the country of its origin and throughout the world.

All things said, countless features made Genji so outstanding that no man would ever be close enough to him — that is why some of the Heian ladies would reject advances of real-life courtiers, as they were far away from the ictional ideal How an ideal from a thousand years ago would be shown in the modern ilms — this will be presented on the base of three screen adaptations of he Tale of Genji.

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See: ibidem, pp. See: A. Omori and K. Doi, , pp. Apart from Fujitsubo, Genji establishes ro- mantic ties with various ladies: among them Oborozukiyo, Murasaki and Awaji based on lady Akashi and the hird Princess from the novel 25 can be mentioned. Subse- quently, when Genji strolls in stately manner through the palace, court la- dies refrain from their calligraphy class to catch just a glimpse of him Tateishi, op.

See: K. Elegance is likewise the key word to the second chosen portrayal, but with a slight hint of impudence. Genji is shown as a pas- sionate lover, sometimes tender, sometimes resolute, sometimes alluring.

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Not only various ladies of the court appreciate him, so do the emperors: irst, his father, emperor Kiritsubo, then his half-brother, emperor Suzaku. Does he not pos- 27 he pathos of things, see: K. Why Yuki Amami was chosen to portray a perfect male? See: Y. Schilling, My heart will go on … for 1, years, Japan Times, Yet again, he is the most handsome and the most tal- ented of all human beings: the utter fulilment of dreams, as Murasaki Shi- kibu puts it.

Dancing, playing the koto, horse-riding or simply enter- taining himself while playing with other courtiers — his every movement represents an absolute perfection. Adored by ladies and common people, he gains more and more recognition and power. What is interesting, Love of a housand Years is the only ilm among those three mentioned which shows Genji of advanced age, grey-haired and wrinkled, inconsolable ater the death of Murasaki.

The Writings meet the Screen A picture is believed to express more than a thousand words — and a moving picture conveys even more meanings.

Multiple interpretations of a tale told in many forms | The Japan Times

In the novels the narra- tor repeatedly informs that Genji was the handsomest of all living crea- tures, but in a ilm it is oten let for the viewers to witness and decide. Lavishly dressed Genji, enveloped in splendid kimonos34, gives no doubt for who is the inest — he clearly stands out from all other male charac- ters, neatly shaved and with an impeccable hairdo.

As for his personality, all mentioned ilm portrayals relect the ideal of the Heian courtier quite fairly: Genji writes remarkable poems, dances gracefully, plays koto with undoubted skill. One detailed has been spared, though — oh- aguro, blackening the teeth, appears only in one adaptation of Genji world: he Tale of Genji: Ukifune directed by Kinugasa Teinosuke, On the other hand, Yuki Amami gives us the androgenic Genji, more greedy and possessive than previous ones and far more inter- ested in political career. Why do those visions difer?

Apart from being directed by three difer- ent artists, those are products of a certain moment in time. Although ater the premiere of the irst ilm some critics foretold the end of Genji-boom35, the tale of the Shining Prince has been adapted to the screen eight more times, with the latest version released in Apparently, the charm of the most perfect hero continues to afect the artist and the audience — and it does not seem to fade at all. Bibliography 1.


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    Puette W. Shikibu M. Seidensticker, Vintage Books, ; tr.