A fifth part of The Tale of Genji, which was completed around 1010 by a woman later named Murasaki Shikibu, has been found in a house in Tokyo

The oldest written copy of part of the 11th-century Japanese epic The Tale of Genji, has been found in the home of a Tokyo family with ancestral ties to a feudal lord.

Seen as the world’s first novel, The Tale of Genji was completed around 1010 by a woman of the 11th-century Heian court of Japan, who was later given the name Murasaki Shikibu by scholars. It centres on the fortunes – amorous and political – of Genji, the son of an emperor. The original manuscript of the story no longer exists, with the oldest versions of the story believed to have been transcribed by the poet Teika, who died in 1241.

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