Murasaki Shikibu

Murasaki Shikibu was a Japanese novelist, poet, and lady-in-waiting at the Imperial court during the Heian period. She is best known as the author of The Tale of Genji, considered to be one of the earliest and greatest novels in world literature. Murasaki's real name is not known; 'Shikibu' refers to her father's position at the Bureau of Ceremony (Shikibu-shō). Her work provides valuable insights into the culture of the aristocracy during her time.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Tale of Genji

    "The Tale of Genji" is a classic work of Japanese literature from the 11th century, often considered the world's first novel. The story revolves around the life of Genji, the son of an emperor, exploring his political rise, romantic relationships, and the complex court life of the Heian era. The novel is celebrated for its detailed characterization and its analysis of the different forms of love.

    The 155th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Murasaki Shikibu Nikki ; Murasaki Shikibu Shū

    The book is a classical Japanese work that combines a diary and a collection of poetry by a noblewoman from the Heian period. It provides a rare glimpse into the life and emotions of the author, who served in the imperial court. The diary portion offers insights into courtly life, detailing the customs, events, and interpersonal relationships of the aristocracy, while the poetry showcases the author's literary talent and sensitivity to the natural and emotional world around her. The work is significant for its personal perspective on Heian-era culture and its contributions to the development of Japanese literature.

    The 4686th Greatest Book of All Time