Murasaki Shikibu Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Abhijeet Modi
Mar 01, 2024 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Dec 04, 2023
An open book with Japanese text, Japanese inkstone and brush, Heian-era silk garments, and flowers in a serene setting
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About Murasaki Shikibu

Murasaki Shikibu was an influential Japanese novelist and poet who lived during the Heian period. She served as a lady-in-waiting at the Imperial court and was born around 973. Although her real name remains unknown, some experts speculate that she may have been Fujiwara no Kaoriko. Murasaki Shikibu is best remembered for her masterpiece, 'The Tale Of Genji'. Her pen name was derived from the book's protagonist, and her father's job at the Bureau of Rites inspired the surname Shikibu.

Most scholars agree that she died in 1014, as suggested by her father's unplanned return to Kyoto from Echigo Province that year, possibly due to her death.

Childhood And Education

Murasaki Shikibu was born in Kyoto, Japan, during 973-978. She belonged to the Fujiwara family, a powerful and influential noble family at that time. Despite the traditional exclusion of Japanese women from learning Chinese, the written language of the government at the time, she learned the Chinese classics and became fluent in them. She was educated at home and displayed exceptional talent in her studies at an early age.

Family And Relationships

Murasaki Shikibu married her distant cousin Fujiwara Nobutaka in her mid-to-late '20s. They had a daughter who became a poet, but Nobutaka died two years after their marriage.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

Lady Murasaki Shikibu is known for writing 'The Tale Of Genji', which is considered one of the world's earliest novels. In this book, lady Murasaki examines the relationships between men and women and the unfortunate situations women often encounter.

Between 1000-1012, she penned this piece in Japanese and gained recognition as a writer, leading to her appointment as a lady-in-waiting to Empress Shōshi by Fujiwara no Michinaga. While serving, she incorporated scenes from court life into her work.

What awards did Murasaki Shikibu win?

There is no available information on any charity work done by Murasaki Shikibu. However, her work, 'The Tale Of Genji', has been recognized as a classic of Japanese literature and a significant contribution to world literature.

Murasaki Shikibu’s Hobbies And Interests

Apart from writing, Murasaki's hobbies and interests included poetry and Buddhist literature.

Other Interesting Murasaki Shikibu Facts And Trivia

  • Murasaki Shikibu's 'The Tale Of Genji' was distributed throughout the provinces within a decade of its completion. It became a classic Japanese literature within a century. It was translated into English early in the 20th century.
  • 'The Tale Of Genji' was also called 'Genji Monogatari'.
  • Murasaki's father served as a scholar and governor in Harima, Echigo, and Echizen provinces.
  • The novel 'The Tale Of Genji' traces the life of Hikaru Genji, Prince Genji, also known as the Shining Prince, the son of an emperor and imperial concubine. She shared poems and entertained them with her novel about life at court in Japan's Heian period.
  • Throughout her lifetime, only two other courtwomen knew of her literary talents.
  • During her time, court ladies were expected to confine themselves to stories written in Japanese.
  • She excelled in Chinese composition more than her brother Nobunori. Her father was often delighted by her ability to quote Chinese histories, write poems like Chinese masters, and command literature, which was typically expected of boys.
  • The first English translation of 'The Tale Of Genji' was published in 1935 by Arthur Waley. This made it a classic of English literature.

Murasaki Shikibu Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

Murasaki Shikibu

Nationality

Japanese

Place of Birth

Kyoto

Occupation

Novelist, Poet, Lady-in-waiting

Partner

Fujiwara Nobutaka

Parents

Fujiwara Tametoki

Siblings

Nobunori
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Sources

bookanalysis.comwww.britannica.com

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

Abhijeet Modi picture

Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

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