Reading with Xi Jinping | The Tale of Genji

By Wang Xiaoxia, Yuan Meng, Toshie Gemba, Liu Ning (People's Daily Online) 08:32, April 23, 2022


In a speech he delivered at the opening ceremony of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations on May 15, 2019, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that literary classics, such as The Tale of Genji, are all invaluable assets of human civilization.

The Tale of Genji is indeed a masterpiece of Japanese literature, and its excerpts are included in Japanese language textbooks for every Japanese student to learn.

The Tale of Genji tells a story that took place during the Heian Period of Japan. Genji, the protagonist of the novel, is the child of a Japanese emperor and a lower-ranking concubine, who is later demoted to a commoner.

The book focuses on the main character's life story, which is full of emotional entanglements, ups and downs as well as political conflicts at the court, revealing the vicissitudes of aristocratic society during the Heian Period of Japan.

Murasaki Shikibu, the author of the book, is a talented woman who had a good command of the Chinese language and an extensive knowledge of history.

The following is a paragraph depicting the birth of Genji in the book.

An incredibly beautiful boy was born. It seems that he doesn't belong to this world, but has a deep connection with his previous life.

What beautiful words these are in classical Japanese! Want to find out more about the story? Well, let's read the book together!

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Du Mingming)


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