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Japanese Literature: Tale of Genji

Online Text

JapanKnowledge database includes 源氏物語 (the Tale of Genji).

  1. Click Book Shelf in the top bar 
  2. Select Japanese Classical Literature
  3. In Genre, select "物語"
  4. Scroll down to "18 源氏物語" and click the title.


青空文庫 includes 与謝野晶子 version of 源氏物語.

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Other Guides

My Japanese Studies Librarian colleagues at other institutions are also creating LibGuides on similar topic. You may find them useful!

Books about the Tale of Genji

To find books about Genji monigatari (the tale of Genji), use subject heading search. On Basic Search screen in InfoHawk+, try this subject heading Murasaki Shikibu, b. 978? Genji monogatari.

Or, if you want to limit your search to English materials, switch to Advanced Search screen and select Subject field with the same subject heading and set the Language limit to English.

Other Subject Headings you might want to try:

  • Japanese literature -- Heian period, 794-1185 -- History and criticism.
  • Women authors, Japanese -- (Heian period, 794-1185)
  • Murasaki Shikibu, b. 978?

Audio Visuals about the Tale of Genji

  • Invitation to World Literature - Episode 6: The Tale of Genji (Annenberg Learner, 201027 minutes Icon
    • About the Series: This multimedia resource invites viewers to appreciate and - most importantly - read these ancient and modern works. The texts are introduced on video by a wide-ranging cast including scholars, translators, artists, and writers. Excerpts of the texts are found on an extensive Web site along with background material and reading support; an interactive timeline and a feature on translation; and resources for teaching and further study.


  • Noh Theatre: The Tale of Genji Excerpts (Creative Arts Television, 1957) 27 minutes Icon
    • "Excerpts from the Japanese dance-drama Noh play "Tale of Genji", from the 14th century, performed by Tatsuo Minagawa,Tei Ko, Shizu Nakamura, and Yuki Shimoda, with commentary by the leading Japanese scholar Donald Keene. The performance is in Japanese, with English explanation.

The Tale of Genji Scrolls

Replicas of the Tale of Genji scrolls (miniature version) are available in UI Special Collections. If you'd like to know how to handle real Japanese scrolls, check out this online tutorial from the Freer and Sackler Gallery on YouTube: Safe Handling Practices for Japanese Handscrolls