Written in 1010 by Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji is believed by many to be the very first novel ever written. It follows the life of Hikaru Genji, the son of an emperor in ancient Kyoto. Though the original full manuscript has never been found, translations of the first four chapters are sold today.
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Now, a fifth chapter has been discovered. Depicting Genji’s relationship with a woman that would eventually become his wife, the fifth chapter was found among the heirlooms of the home of Motofuyu Okochi, a descendant of a formal feudal lord.
Much like the current chapters that have been discovered, chapter five will be declared important cultural property by the Japanese government. The chapter will also be available for researchers to study as well.
There are said to be fifty-four chapters of the original manuscript, with one-thousand-one-hundred pages worth of text. Only time will tell if the other chapters will be found.
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