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The Tales of Ise

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The Tales of Ise (伊勢物語, Ise monogatari) is a Japanese uta monogatari, or collection of waka poems and associated narratives, dating from the Heian period. The current version collects 125 sections, with each combining poems and prose, giving a total of 209 poems in most versions. Concerning the exact date of composition and authorship there is only unresolved speculation. The identity of the nameless, idealised central character is unclear, though it is suggested to be Ariwara no Narihira (825–880). Thirty of the poems from The Tales of Ise appear in the Kokin Wakashū (905), with similar headnotes, all attributed to Narihira. The combination of these poems, and the similarity of some events in the tales to Narihira's life, have led to the additional suggestion that Narihira actually composed the work; however, the inclusion of material and events dating after 880 suggests otherwise.
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original title: 伊勢物語
language: Early Middle Japanese
genre: Uta monogatari, tale

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