Monday, June 9, 2008
The Tale of Genji is kind of like the Sex and the City of 11th century Japan - long, rambling, focused on relationships and the lives of upper-class women, and frequently very boring. Why care at all about it, then? It is widely considered to be the first real novel that mankind has produced, and is a detailed look into an ancient historical period written from firsthand experience.
Egawa Tatsuya's "Genji Monogatari" might be more successful at keeping you awake, given the inclusion of "H-scenes" (cartoon sex) alongside the classic text (graphically illustrating what was only implied in the original writing). Unfortunately, Amazon does not seem to carry it, and I have yet to find a reliable source (there is no translation to English, though I have found that it originally ran in a Japanese magazine called Ultra Jump).