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Western readers were first exposed to the wonders of “The Tale of Genji” when Kencho Suematsu, a graduate of Cambridge University in England, published his translation of the first 17 of its 54 chapters in London in 1882, according to the renowned scholar of Japanese literature Donald Keene.

But what catapulted the novel to worldwide attention was the first full translation by Arthur Waley (1889-1966), a British scholar of Japanese arts who completed his task after years of arduous application in 1933.

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