The Tale of Genji Museum in Uji City, Kyoto has completed “Genji Fantasy: The Cat Fell in Love With Hikaru Genji” (“Genji Fantasy Neko ga Hikaru Genji ni Koi Shita”), a 20-minute original anime that the museum will start screening on April 2, 2019.
Blending history and fantasy, the story follows a modern high school girl named Hana who is transformed into a cat and transported back in time. She travels 1,000 years ago to the Heian Era as portrayed in The Tale Of Genji, arguably the most famous novel in Japanese literature.
Guided by Hikaru Genji, Hana experiences firsthand the emotions that the author Murasaki Shikibu depicted in her novel. The short features scenes based on The Diary of Lady Murasaki and other historical materials, such as the real-life noble Fujiwara no Michinaga swiping early drafts of The Tale Of Genji because he could not wait to read chapters as Murasaki wrote them.
The short stars:
- Kikuko Inoue is Murasaki Shikibu
- Keiji Fujiwara is Fujiwara no Michinaga
- Hisako Tōjō is Fujiwara no Shōshi
- MAO is Hana
- Tomoaki Maeno is Hikaru Genji
Rika Ōta directed the short at LIDEN FILMS Kyoto Studio, and Haruka Sagawa designed the characters. Kazuya Sakamoto served as animation producer, and NHK Planet Kinki Sōshisha and Uji City are presenting the project.