The incredible influence of a japanese literary classic on oriental figurative art by one of the leading experts on japanese culture.
A thousand years after it was first penned Genji monogatari (The Story of Genji) still retains its revolutionary impact which led it to be considered the first psychological novel in universal literature. Written in Kyoto by a lady of the imperial court, its influence on later works is incalculable. The majority of paintings realised by the imperial court for eight or nine centuries was based on images from Genji and a group of horizontal rolls, illustrated with text and pictures, which were produced about a hundred years after it was written. This book analyzes its impact and publishes 19 sheets of 12th-century Genji illustrations, with some wonderful calligraphy.