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At the court of Prince Genji at the Guimet museum

1000 years of Japanese imagination...

Discover the brilliance of the Japanese empire during the Heian era through 'The Tale of Genji', a masterpiece of classic Japanese literature. Written in the 11th century, this monumental work offers a dive into a prestigious past, profoundly influencing the Japanese literary and artistic scene.


Date: 22 November 2023 to March 25, 2024

Location: Guimet Museum

Desire: Asia, Japan, Japanese literature, poetry, feminism


Explore the splendor of Japan's imperial era in the Heian period through a masterpiece written in the 11th century by an exceptional woman, the poet Murasaki Shikibu, whose The epic has generated exceptionally rich imagery for a millennium, even influencing contemporary manga creators.




Said Genji Guimet Museum
Said Genji Guimet Museum


This exceptional exhibition invites spectators to immerse themselves in ancient Japan, to discover the Heian era (794-1185) and its court art. A period marked by women's freedom and remarkable artistic production, where a unique women's literature was forged in Japanese history.


Through a subtle evocation of all the delicacies of the imperial court, he opens the way to exceptional pictorial creativity, giving rise to an abundance of images: prints, fabrics, kimonos, sculptures, paintings and precious objects, including boxes in lacquer from an illustrious collector, Marie-Antoinette.


Cornerstone of Japanese culture, "The Tale of Genji" continues to fuel contemporary artistic expressions, like manga, which reinterpret its codes and themes. The most famous work is probably "Asaki yume mishi" by Waki Yamato (born in 1948). The recent edition of Sean Michael Wilson (2022), illustrated by Inko Ai Takita, will be unveiled during this exhibition. The second part of the event is dedicated to Itarô Yamaguchi (1901-2007), master weaver from the Nishijin district of Kyoto.


Author of four scrolls illustrating "The Tale of Genji", these pieces represent the culmination of a life dedicated to weaving. Made from painted scrolls from the Heian period, and merging with the advanced Western technicality of Jacquard mechanics and its digital counterpart, these four exceptional scrolls are revealed for the first time in their entirety.


The curator of the exhibition is Aurélie Samuel, heritage curator.


Date: 22 November 2023 to March 25, 2024

Location: Guimet Museum

Desire: Asia, Japan, Japanese literature, poetry, feminism

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