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Mapping Courtship and Kinship in Classical JapanThe Tale of Genji and Its Predecessors$
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Doris G. Bargen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824851545

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824851545.001.0001

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(p.247) Conclusion
Mapping Courtship and Kinship in Classical Japan

Doris G. Bargen

University of Hawai'i Press

This concluding chapter compares pre-Genji stories of courtship with Murasaki Shikibu's masterpiece, in order to illustrate what could go wrong with courtship, and in particular, how the complications of mid-Heian courtship and kinship is given new dimensions by the complex genealogies in the Genji. In extant pre-Genji literature, works that include the theme of courtship and kinship map it differently from The Tale of Genji, keeping the joys and travails of courtship limited to one generation of characters. Hence, the conflict and motivation generated through multiple generations in Genji's case is worth considering in contrast. To illustrate its multigenerational quest for power, the chapter narrates in brief The Tale of Genji and the implications it holds in terms of Heian-era courtship and kinship.

Keywords:   pre-Genji literature, mid-Heian courtship, The Tale of Genji, Genji's genealogies, courtship

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