The Tale of Genji Museum-Uji city

July 5, 2014

The Tale of Genji Museum –Uji city

Akiho Kamijo & Shiho Iwasaki

About the Tale of Genji

The Tale of Genji was written by Murasaki Shikibu in the early 11th century (mid Heian era), and consists of 54 chapters (jou). More than 300 characters appear in it, in a story spanning 70 years. Within the work is contained about 800 shu of a 31-syllable form of classical Japanese poetry. This book is sometimes spoken of as the “classic of classics” and one of the greatest works in the history of Japanese literature.The tale itself is divided into three parts:

Part 1 : Hikaru Genji’s birth and his life of splendor and achievement.

Part 2 : Hikaru Genji’s life of anguish and ultimately his death.

Part 3 : The life of Kaoru,the child of Hikaru Genji, fillled with stories of love and tragedy.

 

 The author – Murasaki Shikibu

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Murasaki Shikibu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The author, Murasaki Shikibu, was born around 973 (Ten-en 1) to a middle-class aristocrat Fujiwara no Tametoki. Although we don’t know her real name, she was called Murasaki Shikibu in direct relation to the character of Murasaki no Ue, from The Tale of Genji. In 998 (Chotoku 4), she married Fujiwara no Nobutaka and they had a daughter named Daini no Sanmi. Unfortunately, three years after Daini’s birth her husband died, and it was about this time she began to write The Tale of Genji. Around 1005 (Kanko 2), she became a lady-in-waiting to Fujiwara no Michinaga’s daughter, Shoshi, who was the wife of Emperor Ichijo. In Murasaki Shikibu’s diary, it was written that The Tale of Genji was actually a special gift to Shoshi upon the birth of her son, the Imperial Prince, Atsuhira.

 

The Tale of Genji Museum -Uji City

The tale of Genji Museum is divided into two main areas: The Exhibition Zone and the Information Zone. Here are some of the main features :

Image exhibition of the Tale of Genji and a dynastic picture scroll.

A high-definition video exhibit introduces a fascinating summary of the Tale of Genji and features a model of Rokujoin, the home of Hikaru Genji.

An ox-drawn carriage and period dress exhibit.

There is a restored ox-drawn carriage here, plus a Junihitoe (the ceremonial attire of a Japanese court lady of the period) which symbolizes the level of the circle the characters in the Tale of Genji moved in.

An exhibit showcasing the dynastic culture and many functions of the court.

Here we can view the dresses and articles of furniture of the shinden dukuri style in an architectural representation of a nobleman’s residence in the Heian period. There are also examples of the games and annual events held each season in the Heian period court.

Kakehashi or Connecting Bridge

In this exhibit we can experience the journey from the capital of Heian to Uji that is illustrated in the Tale of Genji.

“Uji jujo” story theater

Here, there is a replica of a famous scene from the work Uji jujo featuring a curtain and a life-size set.

The scenes and fragrance of the Tale of Genji

The fragrances that Heian nobility were particularly fond of are introduced in this exhibit. Many of which are featured in the tale of Genji.

Movie room

We can enjoy another two movies here of the tragic love stories, “Ukifune” and “Hashihime”.

 

 The Role of Uji in the Tale of Genji

Murasaki Shikibu and the ten Uji Chapters

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The Uji Connection

The Ten Uji Chapters start with the chapter Hashi-Hime (Maiden of the Bridge) and conclude with Yume no Ukihashi (Floating Bridge of Dreams).This “bridge” in the story serves to move the setting from the capital to Uji, and also changes the focus of the story from Hikaru Genji to his son, Kaoru, as well as his grandson, Niou no Miya.

Heian aristocrats knew Uji well, and Murasaki Shikibu decided to use this setting to make them feel part of the story. Kyoto at this time was full of very important people, but Uji was a haven where the aristocrats could relax and be themselves. Murasaki Shikibu very skillfully told the stories of the emotional dramas played out between the men and women of Uji, a place that had a lively, yet also dark side

Uji in The Tale of Genji

In the Ten Uji Chapters of The Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu writes about the villa of Hikaru genji’s son, Yugiri, as being on the west side of the Uji River. Actually, this was where Fujiwara no Michinaga, a very influential person of the time, also had a grand home. On the bank where Uji Shrine and Ujigami Shrine are located, she writes of the mountain villa of Hachi no Miya. Fujiwara no Michinaga’s villa on the west bank was later made into Byodo-in Hodo by his son Yorimichi, and still stands today as a prime example of buddhist architectural splendor. However, Ujigami Shrine, where Uji-no-waki-iratsuko, the son of Emperor Ojin is enshrined, is far more modest, and is much more representative of Hachi-no-Miya, who lived alone and lonely.

 

Address: 45-26 Uji-Higashiuchi, Uji City, Kyoto 611-0021

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Admission until 4:30 p.m.)

Closed: Mondays (or the following day if Monday is a national holiday) and Dec. 28 to Jan. 3

Transport links:

http://www.uji-genji.jp/

 

The Tale of Genji

by Hideaki Kato

Introduction

The Tale of Genji is a historical literary work. It was written in the middle of the Heian era in Japan (around 800 to 1400 AD) and is based in the city of Kyoto at that time. It was written over 1000 years ago so it is very old. It has been very popular for a long time.

Murasaki Shikibu

The Tale of Genji was written by Murasaki Shikibu who had talent as a writer and poet .Those talents were recognized by a number of people and she served the Emperor’s daughter. The Tale of Genji was written at that time. In those days, Heian nationalism was very influential. It was the Japanese original noble culture, and kana script in this way developed. Kana is the original and formal Japanese script and derives from the kanji script which was originally from China and is also used in Korea too. Therefore, kana script is used in The Tale of Genji.

The Story

The tale of Genji is an epic romance story, comprised of 54 volumes. Those volumes are separated from part 1 to part 3. In addition, this story is written in Japanese style, intermixed with waka poetry. There are many characters in this story and most of them are nobles of the Heian era. This story is written about their loves. So it has been written realistic of the aristocracy culture. The novel’s hero is Hikaru Genji who is a son of the emperor. He was very handsome and was in love with many girls in his lifetime. But he often had affairs with many girls and he has been explained the pain time. Uji is the main stage of the second half of the story and the next hero is the son of Hikaru Genji .Uji is very important in this story. There is a museum and there are sightseeing spots related to the Tale of Genji in Uji. We can realize the history there.

Popularity

The Tale of Genji is called the greatest masterpiece in the history of Japanese literature. However, not all people could read it when it was first written and it was mainly nobles who read it in the Middle Ages. Therefore other nations were not able to obtain it either. It was around the Edo era when print technology developed in Japan and the common people came to be able to have it in their hand. Many people were able to read it because Akiko Yosano translated it into the contemporary Japanese language.

Now The Tale of Genji is not only a literary work but represented in comics and movies. As a result, it is known by both young and old people. It was in about 1882 that The Tale of Genji was first translated into English and The Tale of Genji has now been translated into many foreign languages. Therefore, it is a work that is loved not only in Japan but around the world.

Genji-Monogatari in Uji

by Natsuka Kisaichi
Touristen besuchen in Kyoto fast nur das Zentrum, aber es gibt auch viele Sehenswürdigkeiten in der Umgebung, z. B. in Uji. Hier können Sie die Schauplätze der Genji-Monogatari sehen.

Die Genji-Monogatari ist ein Roman, der vor ungefähr eintausend Jahren geschrieben worden ist. Insgesamt besteht er aus 54 Büchern und enthält auch etwa 800 Kurzgedichte (japanisch: Tanka).

Der Roman ist das bedeutendste literarische Werk der japanischen Literatur.

Der Roman erzählt aus dem Leben des Helden des Romanes Hikaru Genji, seines Sohnes Kaoru, seines Enkelkindes Hoheit Ninoumiya und dreier Edelfräulein.

Buch

Titel

KAORUs Lebensjahr

45

Hashihime

20.- 22. Lebensjahr

46

Shiigamoto

23.- 24. Lebensjahr

47

Agemaki

24. Lebensjahr

48

Sawarabi

25. Lebensjahr

49

Yadorigi

25.- 26. Lebensjahr

50

Azumaya

26. Lebensjahr

51

Ukifune

27. Lebensjahr

52

Kagerou

27. Lebensjahr

53

Tenarai

27.- 28. Lebensjahr

54

Yumeno’ukihashi

28. Lebensjahr

Nur die letzten 10 der 54 Bücher der Genji-Monogatari beziehen sich auf Uji, mannennt sie Uji-Jūjō.

Die Tabelle links zeigt die Titel der Bücher und um welches Lebensjahr von Kaoru es in dem betreffenden Buchgeht.

Am Ujigawa-Fluss stehte ein Steinfigur von Murasaki Shikibu, die die Geschichten geschrieben hat.
Vielleicht hat sie den Roman hier geschrieben.

Steindenkmal von Murasakishikibu

Der Roman ist Fiktion, aber viele historische bemerkenwerte Orte, die im Text erwähnt werden, liegen am Ujigawa-Fluss. Die Leute, die den Roman lieben, bemühen sich, diese Orte zu erhalten, damit sie nicht in Vergessenheit geraten.

Das ist eine Steinfigur von Hoheit Ninomiya und Edelfäulein Ukifune. Dahinter sieht man eine Brücke über den Ujigawa-Fluss, die Asagiri-Bashi.
Ukifune soll sich in großer Liebesnot dort ertränkt haben.

Denkmal von Niounomiya und Ukifune

Asagiribashi Brücke

Das ist der Byodoin-Hoodo-Tempel. In der Genji-Monogatari erscheint das Gebäude, das ein Wohnsitz von Minamotonotoru war, als ein Wohnsitz von Hikaru Genji.

Dieses Gebäude ist auch auf der Rückseite der gegenwärtigen 10-Yen-Münzen abgebildet.

Byodoin-Hoodo-Tempel

Am Ujigawa-Fluss gibt es zahlreiche Geschäfte, wo man echten grünen Tee oder Eis mit Matcha-Geschmack (pulverisierter Grüner Tee) essen kann.

Machen Sie sich ein paar schöne Stunden in Uji!