Tag Archives: Ivan Morris

More Pillow Books


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Murasaki at her desk shown in a 19th century ukiyo-e.   Pillow books in Heian Japan were really diaries called nikki. Donald Keene in Seeds in the Heart devotes an entire chapter to “Heian Diarists.”  Why?  Because, they were  “personal rather than public and the best-known examples…”  were written by Heian  women of the court. The earliest Heian diary cited is Travel Diary of a Pilgrimage to China in Search of the Law (nittō guhō junreikōki). Written by the Tendai priest Ennin who lived early… Continue reading →