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Archive for Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chapters of oldest surviving novel found

July 13, 2008

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— A full set of chapters of "The Tale of Genji," the world's oldest surviving full-length novel, believed to have been transcribed in the Muromachi period (1333-1568) has been discovered at the residence of a family in Tokyo.

It is rare for a complete set of manuscripts from the 11th-century novel to be found in one place.

The volumes are expected to be a major source for scholars of the novel, which marked its 1,000th anniversary this year.

According to Kazuomi Ikeda, professor of Japanese classical literature at Chuo University, who researched the documents, the volumes are all 19.6 centimeters long and 15.1 centimeters wide, and have a uniform cover sheet decorated with powder derived from seashells.

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