Principal Heian Literary Texts

Pre-Heian (Nara 710-785)

Kojiki                          712

                                                            Histories

Nihon shoki                720

 

Man’yoshu                  758                  Poetic Anthology "A Collection of 10,000 Leaves"

 

Heian Era 785-1185

Kokinshu                    905          Poetic Anthology "A Collection of Ancient and Contemporary Poems;" Preface by Ki-no-Tsurayuki

 

Tosa Nikki                  935          Poetic Diary written in the voice of a woman but by Ki-no-Tsurayuki

 

Ise Monogatari            945         Mixed Prose and Poetry featuring "headnotes" or explanatory intros

 

Taketori Monogatari    950       Prose, “Tale of the Bamboo Cutter”

 

Kagero Nikki              974         "Gossamer Years," a Poetic Diary, by a woman known as the Mother of Michitsuna

Makura no Soshi              990         “The Pillow Book” of essays by Sei Shonagon

 

Izumi Shikibu Nikki    1004    Poetic Diary of a court lady, Izumi Shikibu

 

Genji Monogatari      1010    "Tale of Genji" consisting of 54 “maki” or scrolls by Murasaki  Shikibu

Sarashina Nikki          1020    Diary by a woman that mentions reading the Tale of Genji    

"I read a few volumes of Genji-monogatari and longed for the rest, but as I was still a stranger here I had no way of finding them. I was all impatience and yearning, and in my mind was always praying that I might read all the books of Genji-monogatari from the very first one."

 

Eiga Monogatari       1040    A historical account of the Heian Court written by a woman, Akazome Emon