Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

Histories of the Self: Women’s Diaries from Japan’s Heian Period (794–1185)

This essay outlines three diaries written by women in Japan a millennium ago. The sidebars provide exercise suggestions that are intended to provide a basis for an instructor to generate essay or classroom discussion topics but could also be used by the individual reader to deepen appreciation. These three texts, The Kagerō Diary (c. 974), Murasaki Shikibu Diary (c. 1008), and The Sarashina Diary (c. 1060), are selected from the largest body of premodern personal histories extant in the world. ...

Feature Article

The Heart of History: The Tale of Genji

The defensible claims that The Tale of Genji is history’s first novel and the first major literary work written by a woman have won it international recognition and accordingly inclusion in many survey courses of world literature. Within Japan today, The Tale of Genji commands a space in the canon of the national literature roughly equivalent to all the works of Shakespeare in the English canon, while in popular culture, the tale continues to provide infinite inspiration for animated and print...