Conversation in the rain

based on Murasaki Shikibu’s novel The Tale of Genji

Genji monogatari(The Tale of Genji) is the greatest work of Japanese literature. It was written in the 11th century, the golden age of the Heian period, by a lady-in-waiting at the Imperial court, MurasakiShikibu.

Around the main subject, the love affairs of the prince known as Shining Genji, are woven an endless series of human, philosophical and political themes, a multitude of facts and events and a huge number of characters. In parallel it paints a striking picture of the period Heian, the classical age of Japanese civilization and culture which flourished between the 9th and the 12th century with the transfer of the capital to Kyoto and real power into the hands of the Fujiwara family.

The Tale of Genji was an extremely popular novel in its time. Over the following centuries it was the main source of inspiration for poetry and for the authors of Noh plays; a sort of dictionary of it was compiled and formalized around 1300, the Genjiyoriai, providing rules for word associations based on the novel for the use of writers and poets. From the 13th century to the present day it has been the constant subject of study and countless works of commentary and interpretation have been published.