The Tale of Genji, which consists of fifty-four chapters, is considered the oldest
extant novel in the history of literature. Since the Japanese noblewoman
Murasaki Shikibu gave birth to this masterpiece in the early eleventh century, its
timeless beauty has fascinated readers for generations, not only in the authorfs
homeland but also in numerous countries throughout the world. This romance is
set in the stable aristocratic society of Japanfs Heian Period, which began in the
late eighth century and endured for almost four hundred years. The first forty-four chapters focus mainly on the life of Genji, and the remaining chapters
continue after his death, with the main action of the story shifting from central
Kyoto to Uji, a tranquil village in the outer part of eastern Kyoto, where noblemen
of that time owned their villas. These later chapters are called gUji Jujo
(10 chapters in Uji).h
  It had been around ten years since the publication of the first forty-four chapters
when Murasaki Shikibu, then a retired nun, resumed her work. It is a great
pleasure for the reader to be able to witness, in these final ten chapters, the
personal maturity the author had acquired in the interim.
  Reading through these chapters, you may be taken aback by the quite liberal
attitude that the characters in this story hold toward love and relationships, and
you may believe it to be a general behavior of that time. It must be noted, however, that the author made great use of her imagination so as to let us enjoy
living in this world of fiction, where anything could happen, inspired by the spur
of creativity and the freedom that any form of art is allowed to embrace.
@As the beauty of Uji Jujo piqued my interest, I also fell in love with the wonderful
suburban area of Uji, where the latter part of this ancient romance unfolds. It has
an entirely different appeal from that of the neighboring city of Kyoto, a
well-known historical hub of Japanese tourism which now attracts around fifty
million domestic and international visitors a year. For those yet to visit Kyoto, it
provides a charming tranquility born of an introspective atmosphere.
Interestingly enough, even today many of the sites related to the scenes of Uji Jujo
still remain.
@ Moreover, we have tried as much as possible to avoid the use of obscure
expressions and ambiguity in the psychological descriptions so that non-native
English speakers can also be captivated by the scintillating language in which
Murasaki Shikibufs The Tale of Genji is written.
 @I eagerly hope that this book will be read by Japanese high school and university
students as well. It is often mentioned that their reading skills need to be
enhanced, as these skills are critical for building up other abilities such as
speaking and writing. It would be my greatest pleasure if I could provide an
opportunity through the classic Japanese novel The Tale of Genji, which nearly
every Japanese person must have heard at least once in their lives, for these
students to experience the joy of reading in English, and eventually learn how to
interpret their own culture so as to make it accessible to foreigners.
A drifting boatyDz
@Prince Niou couldnft get the twilight liaison with the mysterious ladyout

of his mind. Memories of the evening he had spent with her remained

firmly embedded in his heart. Although she clearly not of noble status, he

found her irresistibly charming. Since he had been intimate with many

women, he found it far from fulfilling to have simply lain next to one

another ,and he became very eager to learn more about her. Lady Naka

refused to discuss the matter with her husband, however, no matterhow

much he pressed her.

@People were shocked to discover that Ukifune had disappeared from

her house in Uji and began a desperate search. Unfortunately, they

unearthed no clues as to her whereabouts despite their considerable

efforts. The situation was reminiscent of the kidnapping of a

princess in a classic fairy tale.

  Writing PracticeyKz
In those days, there lived a great monk called eSozu of Yokawaf

on Mount Hiei. The venerable man resided with his mother of eighty

odd years and a sister of around fifty. The two nuns had wished for

many years to visit Hase Temple and their prayers had finally been

answered. Sozu asked Ajari, his right-hand man, to accompany them

in order to dedicate images of Buddha and some hand-written

sutras. After having accomplished so much during their visit to

the temple, they turned back for home. Whenthey were passing over

Nara Hill, the mother suddenly fell ill.
 A Floating Bridge in a Dreamyz
 @As he did every month, the Commander went to pray in the temple

at the top of Mt. Hiei. The following day, he visited Yokawa

Temple, surprising Sozu, who was honored to have him as a guest.

Although the Commander had known the monk for years through their

shared prayer sessions, they had never been particularly close.

Yet now Commander Kaoru felt great respect for Sozu, since he had

seen with his own eyes Sozufs remarkable capabilities in curing

Princess Ipponfs illness, and thus their relationship  had grown.

It seemed quite odd to Sozu that a man of such considerable status

had come to this most isolated area of the temple to visit him in

person. The people there treated the Commander with warm

hospitality. They offered him a bowl of rice cooked in tea while

the two men engaged in a lively conversation.