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Nichibunken-IHJ Forum

2018 Jan. 30 The 13th Nichibunken-IHJ Forum

Place: Lecture Hall, International House of Japan (Address: 5-11-16 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032)
Start time: 18:30
End time: 20:00
Enrollment: Required
Fee: Free
How to enroll: Go to IHJ web site to register
Host: International House of Japan
Co-host: International Research Center for Japanese Studies
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Speaker “The Fate of Hikaru Genji and the “Two Fathers”— The Tale of Genji Seen Through the Life of Buddha”
Araki Hiroshi,   Professor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies

The relationship model seen in Hikaru Genji’s wife and child, Onna Sannomiya and Kaoru, in The Tale of Genji is related to the karmic story of Buddha’s wife and the birth of his child. This has been a common interpretation since the medieval era. In the 14th century this interpretation expanded to the story of the prince (Reizei), born through the affair of Genji and Fujitsubo, also being interpreted as a moral parable of Buddha’s wife and child. In either case, illicit intercourse and the“two fathers” were themes that the important figures in The Tale of Genji shared. What is the meaning in bringing the Buddha’s life history into the interpretation of The Tale of Genji?
As a major work of world literature, The Tale of Genji is bound to have unique interpretations and be rediscovered from wide international perspectives. This lecture will attempt to give new perspectives to the common interpretation of The Tale of Genji and seek new possibilities of reading it.
*This lecture will be held in Japanese.

Commentator Gaye Rowley,   Professor, Waseda University