The Tale of Genji (源氏物語 Genji Monogatari?) is a classic work of Japanese literature written by the noblewoman and lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu in the early years of the 11th century, around the peak of the Heian period. It's sometimes called the world's first novel, the first modern novel, the first psychological novel or the first novel still to be considered a classic. Notably, the novel also illustrates a unique depiction of the livelihoods of high courtiers during the Heian period. While universally considered a masterpiece, its precise classification and influence in both Western and Eastern canon has been a matter of debate.