Exhibition Zone Information Zone
 
This room focuses on the first half of The Tale of Genji, the ancient capital of Heian Kyo and Hikaru Genji.
Video Exhibit:The Tale of Genji and Picture Scrolls of the Imperial Court
The exhibit introduces the appeal and outline of The Tale of Genji using beautiful high-definition video images. There is also a model of Hikaru Genji's residence, Rokujo-in (Rokujo Estate), which symbolizes his prosperity.


Gissha and Court Lady Attire
The oxen-drawn carriage called 'gissha' is a symbol of the luxurious life in The Tale of Genji. The exhibit includes the patterns drawn on the carriages that would eventually develop into family emblems, as well as a beautiful black-lacquered oxen-drawn carriage. It also features the attire of a court lady, 'juni-hitoe' (twelve layers of kimono), with carefully restored courtly colors.
Culture of the Imperial Court and Annual Events
The aristocrats' costumes and the furnishings of their residences are shown in a 'shinden-zukuri' structure, a typical style of residence in the Heian Period. There are also exhibits introducing games often played by the Heian nobility, such as 'kai-awase' (a shell-matching game), 'igo' (also known as 'go') and 'sugoroku' (a board game), along with the annual events in the Heian Period for each season. This all helps to provide a clear insight into the culture of the imperial court.
Kakehashi (Bridge) The first and second parts of The Tale of Genji are set in Heian Kyo (the capital of Japan at the time), while the third part takes place in Uji. The museum offers visitors a chance to experience the journey from the capital to Uji, a secondary residence for the nobility of that era. They cross the Kamo River from Heian Kyo, traversing mountain paths and moving on to the road to Uji (near Rokujizo). Once over the Uji River, they reach Uji, the final setting of the tale.
The room focuses on the third part of The Tale of Genji, the Ten Uji Chapters.
Uji-Jujo Theatre
Here, the story of the Ten Uji Chapters is reproduced with great realism using a scrim and life-sized set. Visitors are introduced to the story line and main characters in an easy-to-understand manner, even for those first encountering the Ten Uji Chapters.
Placing the spotlight on the main characters, three of the more famous scenes from the Ten Uji Chapters, "Kaoru no Kaimami" (Kaoru Looking through Hedges), "Kangen no Utage" (Feast with Orchestral Music) and "Niou no Miya and Ukifune" (Prince Niou and Princess Ukifune), are shown in a panoramic representation of sound and light.
Stereographic Images of the Ten Uji Chapters
Stereographic images representing each of the chapters in the Ten Uji Chapters have been created based on Genji Ekagami Cho (Genji Picture Series, a collection of The Tale of Genji Museum), which was reportedly drawn by the early Edo Period artist Mitsunori Tosa. Visitors can enjoy these gorgeous images with their unique depth.
Scents of The Tale of Genji
Possibly one of the more impressive points within The Tale of Genji is scents. The tale touches upon the exquisite scents of Kaoru and Niou no Miya, which, as their names imply, became evident merely from their proximity. This indicates the importance of scents to the Heian aristocrats. This exhibit gives an insight into what scents were used in that period, along with the tools and materials for incense.
Video Exhibition Room
A short original film created solely for the museum is presented here.

Visitors are shown "Hashi-Hime:
The Depth of Women's Love," a short video presentation based on the Ten Uji Chapters. It can be viewed in English, Korean and Chinese.

"Hashi-Hime: The Depth of Women's Love"
The Ten Uji Chapters begin with "Hashi-Hime" (The Princess at the Bridge) and conclude with "Yume no Ukihashi" (The Floating Bridge of Dreams). This 'hashi' (bridge) literarily refers to a bridge connecting Heian Kyo and Uji, but is also considered to imply a link between 'higan and shigan' (the other world and this world) as well as between a man and a woman.
The princess Hashi-Hime has been revered as the protective goddess of the Uji Bridge over the Uji River and is considered to be the symbol of 'kekkai' (line between purity and impurity), which may be why she is featured in a number of different legends, such as that of a female ogre. The reason the Ten Uji Chapters begin with "Hashi-Hime" is most likely that Murasaki Shikibu was attempting to use the princess to symbolize the difficulty of linking two different worlds, particularly those of men and women. Having Hashi-Hime narrate the Ten Uji Chapters made it possible to create a clear representation of the tale.
Despite the heroine princesses of the Ten Uji Chapters being heavily influenced in love by their male counterparts, in the end each showed significant emotional growth. How the plethora of problems following these princesses made them more complete beings is beautifully portrayed in the video presentation, which uses real footage of Uji as well as mystical images created with computer graphics.

Cast
Hashi-Hime/Narration: Kayoko Shiraishi
Narration: Naoto Ogata

Running time: 20 minutes

This room is full of background information on The Tale of Genji, covering everything from Uji to Murasaki Shikibu to Michinaga Fujiwara.

The room features panel exhibits of artists' illustrations of Murasaki Shikibu (the author) and Michinaga Fujiwara, as well as a computer reproduction of 'Betsugo no Sato, Uji' (The Secondary Residence of Choice, Uji). In addition, visitors are treated to insights into a number of locations, including Byodoin Temple, Ujigami Shrine and historical sites related to the Fujiwara Clan.