tale of a genji

Murasaki Shikibu was a writer during the Heian era of Japan, born in 973. She is most famous for writing the epic classic Tale of Genji, which is considered to be the first novel ever written. Murasaki was from an aristocratic family. She disliked men and mostly kept to herself, spending much of her time at Imperial court writing new chapters for the Tale of Genji. She passed them on to friends, who in turn copied them out and passed them on to their friends to read and copy, and it quickly became popular. Women were thought to be too stupid to learn the traditional written Chinese kanji characters and were taught phonetic kana instead. But Murasaki learned Kanji easily and taught it to the princess Shoshi in secret, causing outrage when she became empress and used it publicly. Murasaki is largely credited for developing Japanese into a written language. She earned herself the nickname “Our Lady of the Chronicles”.  

When Genji first comes to Overwatch, he does not want to talk about what happened.  He wants to think about it as little as possible.  There is a very select group of people that are even vaguely aware of the events that lead to Genji’s recruitment, and possibly only Angela knows anything close to the full story.

Everyone, however, knows that Genji would have died if he hadn’t been picked up by Overwatch and made into the cyborg that now walks among them.

So, naturally, everyone is a curious motherfucker who feels the need to poke their nose into everyone else’s business.

The first couple times people try to ask him “what happened” Genji either stubbornly ignores them or flat out tells them “I don’t want to talk about it”.  But after a couple months when it keeps happening he just… starts making up stories.  Stupid, over-the-top, straight-up ridiculous stories that no one would ever believe.  He tells people he had tried jumping out of a plane with a parachute made of hundreds of flying squirrels tethered together.  He tells them he been dared to drink a cup of molten steel and it hadn’t agreed with his digestion.  He tells them he’d made a deal with the devil and had fallen back on his loan payments.  At first it’s out of exasperation, with the hope that people will finally take the hint.  People don’t take a hint though, mostly because they think it’s hilarious.  Over time, Genji agrees.

Years to come, whenever he meets someone new who tentatively works up the courage to ask “so… what happened?” while gesturing to his cyborg body, Genji will, without fail, tell the biggest, most ridiculous whopper of a lie he can think of (and all his teammates will be sniggering the the background at the new guy’s poor, confused face).

Time passes, Overwatch falls, Genji leaves, winds up in Nepal, and for the first time in years he tells someone – Zenyatta – what actually happened (after spending the first few weeks lying through his teeth about it).  Then Recall happens, and with Genji comes Hanzo into Overwatch’s fold.

It’s not an easy thing to talk to strangers about, but Hanzo figures it’s better to be up front about things and he admits that, yes, he had tried to murder his brother to appease the elders of the crime syndicate family.

Ho ho ho, says the rest of the squad, pull the other one it’s got bells on.

And Hanzo just???? doesn’t get it????

They’re supposed to be old friends of Genji?  He’s very blatantly and honestly tells them I nearly murdered him, it’s my fault he is how he is now but whoever he’s talking to just laughs.  Laughs!  “Yeah, sure mate, whatever you say, I’ll bet, haven’t heard that one before.”

Literally everyone just assumes Hanzo’s in on the joke and is playing along with Genji’s tall tales.  Angela just listens with a sort of abject horror, Zenyatta’s amused, and Genji doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry because the slack-jawed expression Hanzo made the first time McCree laughed in his face after being told “I killed Genji” was priceless.

historical women 21/?: Murasaki Shikibu, 973 - 1014 CE

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, written in Japanese between about 1000 and 1012… Heian women were traditionally excluded from learning Chinese, the written language of government, but Murasaki, raised in her erudite father’s household, showed a precocious aptitude for the Chinese classics and managed to acquire fluency…  Murasaki wrote The Diary of Lady Murasaki, a volume of poetry, and The Tale of Genji. Within a decade of its completion, Genji was distributed throughout the provinces; within a century it was recognized as a classic of Japanese literature and had become a subject of scholarly criticism .

In Another Life

Skimming back through my older posts and stumbled upon this cute little idea/prompt thingie. Also I know I’m super late in terms of completing r76 week, but this can be a throw back for that wonderful surge of beautiful contents, too ; ) I hope you guys will enjoy this.

“Gabe! We need order on table 15!”

“At the window.”

“Thanks, honey!” Jack beamed, dashing off after giving his mate a peck.

Gabriel grinned, completely ignoring Ana’s snickering and Angela’s cooing, and got back to his batch of pancakes. 

It was a beautiful day, sunlight was flowing like liquid gold over and into their humble pub, and the breezes were just chilly enough to keep couples sitting close together. Lena’s ridiculous sunglasses glinted atop her unruly head, and her gold-blue pair of wings bobbed in harmony with her steps. Reinhardt was entertaining his own little crowd at the bar, telling tall tales and thundering with laughter. Outside, Genji and Torbjorn were busy with their ice-cream stall (surprisingly’s Jesse’s idea), and whilst Gabriel wasn’t much into serving kids, he was slightly envious of those two, having the space to stretch their wings in such fine weather.

Funny how, after everything, this was where they found their peace, in a tiny, forgotten corner in Europe. They mused about it sometimes, Jack, Gabriel, and all the others. Those days seemed so far away now, as their life now was so pleasant, floating by like thoughtless summer clouds. Some might say it was a boring way to spend the last half of their life, all things considered. Well, Gabriel couldn’t speak for the others, but he’d disagree.

Looking at Jack, laughing in the sunshine, dark wings glimmering and no longer so afraid…It was all worth it.

Ghosts of the past still haunted them, as with everyone that had such a history. A large part of Genji’s time was to worry whether or not his family would trace him all the way here. Torbjorn was still feeling guilty over all his creations. Reinhardt’s grievance about how things were left behind. And sometimes, after the doors were closed and empty tables lay cold, they would think of all that was lost. And they would grieve for those who had fallen, for the pain they had all suffered.

But Gabriel supposed it couldn’t be too perfect. It wouldn’t have been real if it was perfect.

“We need to order more chicken breasts, mushrooms and chives!” Angela yelled at Ana from the back, “Oh, and lamb mince too, while you’re at it!”

“What about eggs?”

“Jesse said he’s coming in today with a fresh crate!”

There was a time, whenever Doctor Ziegler had to raise her voice, it meant someone was at the brink of death. And Lieutenant Amari would have never been seen with a pad note instead of a sniper, scribbling down details as she checked their stocks.

“Table 9: a full breakfast platter, two sweet potato chips and a scampi.” Jack was back, golden hair bouncing as he pinned the order. Catching’s Gabriel’s eyes, his grin became both beaming and bashful, and he slipped behind the line, just so he could brush his wing against Gabriel’s. Despite being busy at the station, Gabriel chanced a second to sneak a kiss before his mate left.

With the lingering warmth of Jack’s skin, Gabriel felt his heart swelled, and he smiled, feeling the light brush of feathers against his neck.

This, he wouldn’t have traded this life for the world.


Miyata Masayuki 宮田雅之 (1926 – 1997).

He created illustrations for modern publications of Japanese classic literature, including Oku no HosomichiThe Tale of Genji, and The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.
His most prominent work, Red Fuji, was produced and sold in 184 countries worldwide. Selections of his work are still published today by Kodansha International.

Shibori (tie-dye) kimono.  Taisho (period 1912-1926), Japan.  The Kimono Gallery. A remarkable rinzu silk kimono featuring all shibori motifs of paulownia and a waterfall. There are embroidery highlights in some of the upper areas in front and back, as well as broad gold-metallic wide threads inserted in outline areas of some of the paulownia motifs. The single mon (family crest in the upper backside is completely embroidered. This mon is a rare one for kimonos, as it represents the wheel of the ox-drawn carriage, and is based on the Heian-period classic, The Tale of Genji. The Japanese have traditionally had a love of waterfalls, and also of the paulownia tree and leaves. According to legend, the mythical phoenix, bird of immortality, alights only in the branches of the paulownia tree when it comes to earth. The paulownia is referred to as the “Princess Tree”. An old tradition of Japanese families is to plant a Paulownia when a baby girl is born into the family. As the girl grows up and gets married the family cuts down the tree and creates a dresser for her wedding present. This would have been a very expensive kimono to create, especially the shibori tie-dye, which would have taken a several months of work by expert designers and craftspeople.

anonymous asked:

Other then golems and homunculus, are there any other man made mythological creatures?

Every culture has some creature, being, or thing that people can/have made. Sometimes it requires a bit of divine intervention, sometimes a bit of magic, and sometimes it’s simply the way things are. Here are some of the ones we came up with:

  • Kodoku (worm poison): you seal several insects in a jar, letting them kill each other until only one is left. The fluid remains of the dead insects can be used as a poison, but the surviving insect can be kept to bring the creator wealth and good fortune. However, if the creator doesn’t feed the insect by sacrificing human lives, it will devour them. The only way to avoid this is to bury all the wealth (plus interest) earned from the worm.
  • Gu curse: you seal up lizards, snakes, spiders, insects, and other small nasty creatures in a jar. The creatures fight and devour each other until their poison is concentrated all into one survivor that takes the form of a golden silkworm. This silkworm brings gold to its creator in exchange for human lives. It also tends to its master’s home (much like a European brownie). It can not be killed by burning, drowning, or cutting it apart. The only way to be rid of it is to be devoured or to put it in a basket with gold and/or silver and set it out on the street to be picked up by a hapless person (who then has to care for it or be devoured)
  • Basilisk: you place a chicken egg under a toad and when it hatches, it’s a basilisk. (Some versions specify the type of chicken, egg, and/or toad)
  • Ikiryo: from the Tale of Genji (so not a great source for original myths)
  • Galatea: was a statue of a woman carved by Pygmalion. She was turned human when he prayed to Aphrodite
  • Snow Maiden: there are several stories that fall into this type, but it’s usually parents building a child out of snow who becomes real.

There are others, though these were all we were able to come up with. If any of our followers have any other suggestions, please let us know!