Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of GenjiPhilosophical Perspectives$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

James McMullen

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190654979

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190654979.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 19 May 2022

Genji’s Gardens

Genji’s Gardens

Negotiating Nature at the Heian Court

(p.201) Chapter 6 Genji’s Gardens
Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji

Ivo Smits

Oxford University Press

This essay explores conceptual and cultural notions of “nature” in the Heian period and especially the many representations of nature in The Tale of Genji. Nature represented is nature codified; concrete nature imagery was employed in sustained ways to sketch the emotional state of protagonists. Yet nature could also trigger, rather than resonate with, emotional response. Central is a series of readings of the gardens of the Rokujō estate in The Tale of Genji; in turn, those readings are framed in a larger survey of garden design theory, practices, and uses in the Heian period. Gardens in this tale offer profound insights into both how Heian courtiers related to nature and the structure of its protagonists’ relationships. In this sense, “nature” and basic structures in the tale are intimately connected.

Keywords:   Key words: nature, four cardinal directions, gardens, Genji monogatari, landscape, Rokujō estate

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .