The Tale of Genji (源氏物語, Genji monogatari) is a classic work of Japanese literature written . Arthur Waley, who made the first English translation of the whole of The Tale of Genji, believed that the work as we have it was finished. Ivan Morris. “What Waley did create is literary art of extraordinary beauty that brings to life in English the world Murasaki Shikibu imagined. The beauty of his. Indeed, “The Tale of Genji”—now available in a new translation by . The two most famous English translations of “Genji”—Arthur Waley’s.

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Web materials here and elsewhere on The Tale of Genji Genji monogatari. This started as a “Genji studies” page for my students.

Pages open to all include a glossary of characters by the translator Royall Tyler, a list of chapter titles in various English translations, a genealogy all in the pmjs resources and logs of several discussions by specialists in the archives.

As an example of the useful web material that can be gathered by searches, here is a page of links I assembed for students reading the first chapter. Michael Watson, Meiji Gakuin Univ.

How to Choose English Translation of The Tale of Genji

Once again, here is a page of links I assembed for students reading the first chapter. A little basic copyright information for readers who regularly write and ask me ” Where can I find an English translation of the Tale of Genji on the Web? This is still available in a reprint from Tuttle, and a pdf file has been made available from York University, Canada.


The translation was remarkable at its time, but is of only historic interest today.

For researchers there does exist an electronic text of a more recent translation: Seidensticker’s version of is available for research purposes in Oxford Text Archives. I obtained it years ago in what was then the proper manner, by post. Check the OTA website for an application form.

However those referring qaley the Japanese text will find the cross-references to pages and sections of the older Shogakukan NKBZ edition helpful. There is no substitute for a printed edition, however. Royall Tyler’s translation of is surely the best choice for anyone about to read–or reread–this great narrative.

Genji links (Watson)

Paperback reprints of the translations by Suematsu, Waley and Seidensticker have been published by Charles E. Tuttle Rutland, Vermont, and Tokyo. Seidensticker’s translation has also been reprinted many times in England and North America–avoid the abridged version unless that is what you want. If you are looking for Japanese e-texts, be aware that the copyright lies not only with the author–who died almost a millenium ago–but also rests in the work of the modern editor.


However OTA again has an electronic text Shogakukan and there are also several sites where a scholar has made his own edition for the Web. Take a look at the site of Professor Shibuyafor example. The modern Japanese translation by Yosano Akiko is also available at genji. Information about a course on Genji taught by a distinguished translator of modern Japanese literature. Ken Richard Siebold University, Nagasaki.

Site for classes on Japanese literature by specialist in Heian literature. Genji pages contain questions to guide students in reading and selections from a paper on ” Mother trauma fale in Genji. Whose mono-no-ke killed Yugao? A spirited debate archived on the pmjs mailing list of specialists. Explore the pmjs site if you are interested in other aspects of premodern Japan. The Tale of Genji. The electronic texts of the Shogakukan edition and the Seidensticker translation are available from Oxford Text Archives.

Apply to OTA direct.

Two versions are available online. Genji monogatari emaki no shokai. Stanford University Press,