Murasaki Shikibu

(c. 973 - c. 1031)

Best known as the author of The Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu kept her diary between 1008 and 1010 while serving at the court of the Japanese imperial family. Although women of the era were permitted to learn only Japanese, Murasaki was said to have learned Chinese by listening outside the door while her father taught the language to her brother.

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