Seiko Tanabe, an award-winning author known for her modernized version of the classic "Tale of Genji" titled "Shin-Genji Monogatari," died of cholangitis, an inflammation of the bile duct, on June 6 in Kobe, her family said Monday. She was 91.

Born in Osaka, the author was famous for depicting the subtleties of interpersonal relationships in a light and humorous manner within her stories. She won the Akutagawa Prize, a prestigious literary award, for her novel "Kanshou Ryokou" ("Sentimental Journey") in 1964, and was awarded the Order of Culture in 2008.

Tanabe earned several prizes for her biography of poet Suifu Kishimoto including the Yomiuri Prize for Literature. She also published numerous guidebooks for Japanese classics throughout her life.

The author was awarded a Medal with Purple Ribbon in 1995, and named a Person of Cultural Merit in 2000.