Japan is known for its important discoveries and inventions yet there is one invention that’s not known by many though many are familiar with it. Murasaki Shikibu, a court lady descended from a Japanese family of lords and ladies. Lady Murasaki was the first author to write a complete novel, “The Tale of Genji” the novel was written in the 11th century around the peak of the Heian period. The work recounts the life of a son of the Japanese emperor, known to readers as Hikaru Genji, or “Shining Genji”. For political reasons, Genji is relegated to commoner status (by being given the surname Minamoto) and begins a career as an imperial officer. The tale concentrates on Genji’s romantic life and describes the customs of the aristocratic society of the time. Much is made of Genji’s good looks. It was translated to English for the first time by Suematsu Kencho and published in 1882. Read Project Cat for more interesting info.