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Mapping Courtship and Kinship in Classical Japan – The Tale of Genji and Its Predecessors - Hawaii Scholarship Online
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Mapping Courtship and Kinship in Classical Japan: The Tale of Genji and Its Predecessors

Doris G. Bargen


Literary critiques of Murasaki Shikibu's eleventh-century The Tale of Genji have often focused on the amorous adventures of its eponymous hero. This book emphasizes the thematic importance of Japan's complex polygynous kinship system as the domain within which courtship occurs. Heian courtship, conducted mainly to form secondary marriages, was driven by power struggles of succession among lineages that focused on achieving the highest position possible at court. Thus interpreting courtship in light of genealogies is essential for comprehending the politics of interpersonal behavior in many of ... More

Keywords: Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji, polygyny, kinship, courtship, lineage

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780824851545
Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016 DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824851545.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Doris G. Bargen, author
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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