The Tale of Genji Questions and Answers
by Lady Murasaki Shikibu

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Which character suits Genji in The Tale of Genji?

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Kimberly Gunderson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The word "suits" can be interpreted in many ways. I will answer in the manner that seems most interpretive of the characters' personalities in this novel.

Genji is a spoiled paramour whose romantic conquests are legendary. When this novel was written, over 1,000 years ago, women were relegated to the role of being subordinate to men. In fact, one of the words for "wife" in Japanese, kanai, translates to "of the interior." Japanese women, especially women of elite status, rarely left their homes. Even with this understanding, it is difficult to separate our modern sensibilities from our interpretation of this text. Therefore, I would have to say that my choice of the character who "suits" Genji best stems from a sense of hopeful equality for women during a time when this was virtually nonexistent.

I believe the character who "suits" Genji best is the...

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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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