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As we wind up our year honoring Japan’s women writers, where better to end than where it began?

The two greatest works of literature in Japan’s Heian Period (794-1185) were both penned by women: “The Pillow Book” by Sei Shonagon and “The Tale of Genji” by Murasaki Shikibu. No Japanese literary education is complete without considering these two works, and there are various English translations for both.

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