Murasaki Shikibu was a Japanese novelist, poet and lady-in-waiting at the Imperial court during the Heian period. She is best known as the author of The Tale of Genji, written in Japanese between about 1000 and 1012.
A writer and poet in the Heian Period.
The exact circumstances of her life is unknown.
She has written works such as “The Tale of Genji”, “Lady Murasaki Collection” and “The Diary of Lady Murasaki”.
Her poems are also selected for the “Later Collection of Gleanings of Japanese Poems” as well as subsequent poem anthologies.
She was born to Fujiwara no TametokiWP, a scholar in Han studies and a poet. With her lineage on her father’s side renowned for being academics (Her paternal great-grandfather, Fujiwara no Kanesuke, was not only active as a poet, but also penned chronicles and other works like both volumes of “The Chronicles of Prince Shōtoku”, (and was known by the moniker of ’The Riverside Middle Counselor’), it would be obvious how she would be raised to be acquainted to books and texts.
Married to Fujiwara no NobutakaWP – who was significantly older than her – in her twenties, she bore him a son, before he dies three years into their marriage.
Kaoruko (Shikibu), who was thus widowed at a young age, started writing a story during the Autumn of that same year; namely ――― her opus “The Tale of Genji”, which spans 54 volumes in total.
Murasaki is gracious and eloquent woman in appearance, curvaceous with her large chest as the most prominent feature. From the little exposed skin, she appears to be rather pale.
Matching her name, her eyes are deep purple. Her incredibly long hair is brown, and splits into multiple long strands that curl rather unnaturally. She has bangs over her forehead, and hairbands decorated with large blue orbs with a purple spiral, tie her hair into cute, ear-like buns.
Her outfit is a beautiful gothic-style dress, the colors consisting mainly of black with blue and purple as complementary ones. The dress's skirt has a spiraled frill all around it. The torso is similar to a corset. The shoulder cloths are large and baggy, and the sleeves are large and open. The under-chest area is clad in the same material as that of the torso, while the over-chest is composed of a brown material. The dress goes up to her neck, and it possesses an ornamental amethyst over her sternum. On her hips are a blue ornament with a purple spiral, attaching long black and blue strips of cloth to her body. She wears a blue purse with a white diamond pattern tied around her waist by a string of beads. Murasaki holds a black umbrella with a blue underside with her right hand.
In her second Ascension, the umbrella is discarded. Murasaki now wears a pair of black rimmed glasses over her eyes and a chessboard-patterned cloak with wide sleeves over her body. Around her upper body is now a purple rope tied around her.
In her third Ascension, Murasaki changes radically. Her hair goes from brown to black and the curls disappear, growing incredibly long and bending upwards like a wave. Her dress is replaced by a multi-layered, multi-colored kimono, consisting of the colors: pink, red, orange, green, and many shades similar to those. Her glasses disappear, and now a glowing purple insignia floats above her head. One of the long skirts of the layers of the kimono resembles a paper fan. She now holds a fan in her right hand, depicting a bonsai tree.
Murasaki attempts to portray an air of elegance, though she is quite clumsy. She deeply enjoys reading, especially books that were written outside of her native country and time. She resents the existence of digital books and prefers paper books. She also holds a fair amount of respect for fellow authors.
The well-mannered “studious” type of woman.
Well raised and of good judgement. Discreet.
Loves reading. Also loves writing stories sparklingly with the elegance of love and poetry.
Is methodical and keeps a diary (a quite realistic diary).
Normally acts as a “librarian with a composed demeanor” but merrily bursts into poem when the subject becomes certain particular stories, particular books, particular feelings.
Her favorite stories are The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter and The Tales of Ise.
It is believed that Murasaki Shikibu’s character description was inspired by The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter and her presentation, plotting and characterization all heavily inspired by The Tales of Ise. Those aside, it’s believed that she also took inspirations from multiple other sources, like Bai Letian’s Bai Shi Wenji and Records of the Grand Historian, and that the conversations where Hikaru Genji seduces women are inspired by the T’ang romance tale Youxianku.
As for poetry, her three favorite compilations are Kokinshuu, Gosenshuu and Shuuishuu.
She was a loving fan of many poem anthologies since when she was alive.
Since she’s been summoned to Chaldea, she has been enjoying acting as a librarian. And in the meanwhile, she grew to love stories and poems from eras and regions other than her own, spending all of her free time absorbed in their reading.
Murasaki is summoned shortly after Novum Chaldea is formally established. She quickly creates a workshop in the form of an expansive library and filled it with physical books she converted from data files, with herself as the librarian. Both Chaldean personnel and Servants enthusiastically take to the opportunity to read physical books in lieu of the digital records that had been available until this point. Murasaki also establishes a writing class, which Mash Kyrielight participates in to write a letter to Ritsuka Fujimaru expressing her thoughts and feelings.
Valentine Event: Murasaki Shikibu and the Seven Cursed Books
While organizing the archive in the morning, Murasaki found a book she didn’t recognize. To her shock, the book took a cursed life of his own and absorbed something she kept in her bag. When it isn’t feeding on all the information and magical energy, the Cursed Book runs around endlessly in an instinctual act of self-preservation.
Ritsuka and Murasaki later meet for the first time when Mash brings Ritsuka to Novum Chaldea’s new underground library. Ritsuka welcomes Murasaki to Chaldea, and Murasaki expresses how she can be of use despite her inexperience as a Caster. But she then confesses to having made a terrible mistake and explains what happened this morning. She was determined to make a perfect debut as the Heroic Spirit of the Books and hoped everyone would be glad to have her, but now she feels she ruined all that. But to her surprise, Ritsuka and Mash do not chastise her for her mistake. Their concern is more about the Cursed Book itself. Semiramis then calls the group on hologram, having taken over comms for Da Vinci, who’s feeling ill at the moment. She called because a book absorbed her magical energy reserves she set aside specifically for this year’s Valentine’s Day chocolate production. The group realized it was the Cursed Book. Semiramis warns them there are several magical energy signals are heading for them.
After defeating and recovering a Cursed Book, Murasaki analyzes it with her magecraft and determines it is not the original, rather a separate book that was given some of the stolen magical energy. If the group doesn’t stop the Cursed Book, it won’t stop until every book in the library is similarly cursed. But if they can find the original, they neutralize all the copies with a single recovery ritual. Fortunately, Murasaki has sealed off the books in the library, so the Cursed Book can only curse books already checked out. She and Ritsuka then start their book hunt, with Semiramis and Mash support from the Command Room.
Ritsuka and Murasaki enter the cafeteria, it being the first time for Murasaki. It is also her first time meeting Tamamo Cat, who goes off to cook something for Murasaki. Boudica and EMIYA are surprised to see her out of the library. Given that Murasaki is too anxious, Semiramis asks Boudica and EMIYA for her if they've seen a book with unusual magical energy. They answer that they haven't but do recall seeing a writer Servant with a lot of books. Cat returns with an entree and shows the book from which the dish's recipe is derived from. Murasaki immediately confirms with analysis that it's a Cursed Book, and with the help of Cat, Boudica, and EMIYA, she defeats it. She recovers the book, but it isn't the original. She and Ritsuka then for the writer Servants' room.
There they see not only William Shakespeare and Hans Christian Andersen but also Julius Caesar, Red Hare, and Chen Gong. Seeing Red Hare, Murasaki realizes she'd have never learned about such Heroic Spirits if she never left the library and finds the interactions between different Heroic Spirits to be a moving sight. She is also thrilled to see the authors she admires going about their daily lives, considering it the luckiest day of her manifestation. Shakespeare and Caesar then flirt with Murasaki, to which Andersen urges her to make them stop. But Murasaki fins that be rude, feeling honored to have such illustrious company take an interest in her. She then asks Andersen if he'd be willing to donate his new stories to the library. Andersen compares her to an editor and then asks her and Ritsuka why they came. The two explain their search for the Cursed Books. The writers assure neither of them barely knows any magecraft, let alone curses. Caesar states he isn't even a Caster. Andersen then gives Ritsuka and Murasaki permission to search the many books lying about. Murasaki performs a detection curse to confirm there is more than one Cursed Book. With everyone's help, she defeats and collects the books, though none of them are the original. Andersen confirms with Murasaki that the original is likely mixed in the books that were checked out of the library and he recalls seeing Osakabehime with an armful of books. He then shows Murasaki to Osakabehime's room.
Osakabehime isn't in her room, though, and there isn't a Cursed Book signal either. Ritsuka, Mash, and Fou then notice the commentary floating above Andersen's head showcasing his true feelings about why he is helping Murasaki. Murasaki calls it Taizan Commentary Fest, a technique she learned through osmosis while she was around Abe-no-Seimei. It creates running commentary that anyone except the one being commented on can see or hear. The commentary cannot lie outright but can reveal painful truths. Murasaki recalls a scary monk warned her it was a dangerous technique that shouldn't be used lightly. Unfortunately, she activated it despite herself and finds she does when she relaxes her guard, comparing it to a curse. She begs Andersen for forgiveness, but Andersen doesn't care as writers like themselves should be used to commentary from everyone. He also tells her to stop apologizing so much and decides to continue helping her.
Ritsuka's party returns to the library, as Andersen concluded they'd find Osakabehime there since she's been coming here a lot recently and she wasn't in her room. They only find a note from he, saying she is returning the books she borrowed to their proper shelves since Murasaki wasn't present. But before they go searching for Osakabehime, Murasaki notices several other notes, from which Andersen discerns there are multiple people returning books. Mash therefore closes the library's shutters to keep any potential Cursed Books from escaping.
The group find Osakabehime and fights the Cursed Book she nearly returned. Osakabehime sides with the book out of desperation for Ritsuka not to see the title. The group defeat them, and Murasaki recovers the book while concealing its title for Osakabehime's sake. Unfortunately, it is not the original. Murasaki and Ritsuka tell Osakabehime she isn't a pale imitation of Murasaki like she believes, with Murasaki saying they're closer to comrades as they both write to express their thoughts and feelings. Osakabehime then joins the group.
They find the Valkyries and stop them from returning their books. Thrud's copy of Wuthering HeightsWP turns out to be a Cursed Book, though like the book before it isn't the original. Ritsuka's party defeats the book with the Valkyries' help. After Murasaki recovers it, the Valkyries decide they'll search elsewhere for more Cursed Books and report if they detect any. Ritsuka's party then continue their search.
Ritsuka’s party defeats the Cursed Book held by Blackbeard, Jeanne Alter, and Tristan. Blackbeard decides to help the group after hearing they're trying to save Valentine's Day. None of the books were the original, though, and Blackbeard, Jeanne Alter, and Tristan were the last Servants to return to the library with checked-out books. Mash decides to scan the library again, which will take 30 minutes to finish, so the group takes a break in Murasaki’s room.
Ritsuka and Osakabehime find her room to be identical to the rooms they had in Luluhawa. Murasaki explains she thought it seemed nice when she found it in Chaldea’s database, so she recreated it. While Andersen takes a rest and Osakabehime is making tea, Ritsuka notices something else is bothering Murasaki. Murasaki confesses she wants to get back a letter full of beautiful expressions of love that the original Cursed Book stole from her when she first encountered it. Ashamed that it was taken from her, she thinks she has no right to be concerned about the letter and should only focus on resolving the situation. But Ritsuka assures her they’ll get the letter back. Andersen asks Murasaki why would the original Cursed Book eat a letter and suspects there is a connection between the book, the letter, and the magical energy resources meant for producing chocolate. Murasaki explains she is a Heroic Spirit whose focus is putting feelings into words, especially those of deep care for another. Thus, all the books she created are sensitive to feelings as well, and suspects that was the catalyst for the current situation and why the Cursed Book eats feelings. All of this new information helps Andersen deduce that the Cursed Books only consume information and magical energy laden with emotion.
Mash interrupts the group’s break to report several Cursed Books have broken through the library’s shutters from the outside; Blackbeard and the Valkyries tried and failed to stop them. Murasaki thinks the original must have continued to make more while they were in the library. But Mash confesses she found a single Cursed Book in the hall before her scan finished. All the other books seem to be heading for it. Ritsuka’ party head there and sees the Cursed Books are gathering in the archive, which the original turned into a nest. After the group defeat the Cursed Books that came from the archive, Murasaki opens the archive’s hidden entrance and prepares to go in by herself. But Ritsuka refuses to let her go alone and Andersen encourages her to let others help her. Accepting their help, Murasakai enters the archive with the others.
Inside the archive, they fight the original Cursed Book, which has grown to giant proportions. Murasaki finishes it off with her Noble Phantasm and recovers it, returning the magical energy it stole. She also got the letter back into possession. It is later revealed that Murasaki was holding onto the letter for Mash, who wrote it to express her thoughts and feelings to Ritsuka after learning how to from Murasaki's writing class.
A Study in the Dubious Meiho-sou
Murasaki conducts a play featuring various Servants as actors. When an amnesiac Servant stumbles upon them, Murasaki agrees to let him join and gives him the name "Salazar," which is the name of his assigned character.
As director and scriptwriter, Murasaki is essential to the production of the play. However, Murasaki suddenly collapses after drinking a glass of grape juice. Suspicion immediately falls on Salazar as he was the one to serve the drinks. The film assistant, James Moriarty, confesses to preparing the drinks himself but he denies poisoning Murasaki. Sherlock Holmes appears as a hologram to inform the group it was an accident.
As the other Servants resume the play with some minor changes to the script, Salazar eventually discovers his true identity: the pirate Bartholomew Roberts.
Lostbelt 5.5: Heian-kyō
In this Lostbelt, Murasaki is one of the Masters in battle, with Charles Babbage as her Servant.
Most of her spells are activated via drawing a pentacle (or, as the Japanese know it, a Seimei star) in the story. Muraski was acquaintances with Abe-no-Seimei, who taught her onmyōdō, which is how she knows various spells to use against enemies. This is why she marks her spells with the pentacle, or the Seimei star. It’s implied that her Onmyoudou skills were lackluster when she was alive, but they were powered up due to her summon in the Caster Class, so she can do a lot that she couldn’t before, such as turning her own room into a luxury suite that was recreated based on Chaldea's database on Luluhawa's hotel rooms.
She uses a feather duster and an unrolled scroll in one of her attacks. In her later forms, she attacks with hand fans by throwing or slashing enemies with them. In her third Ascension form, she rides on a hovering Japanese style cloud-like platform.
- Territory Creation (Rank C+): Ranked B+ only when creating a book paradise, like a library or an archive.
- Item Construction (Rank C): It’s possible to construct items, up to a certain level, as long as these items are related to Onmyoudou, specifically the branch of Onmyoudou Seimei taught her.
- Verse of the Great Poet (Rank A): is one of the Personal Skills of Caster. It acts the same as another skill among the Caster-Class, High-Speed Incantation. However, its abilities vary, it allows the user to write at an acceled speed, but in order to use it, the user must also 'speak' in some form.
- Curse Arts (Lyric) (Rank D+): A lesser-scale Curse Arts skill. While it does not directly use influences from Japan, it allows ones own words to be used as a form of Magecraft. It is not known about the direct-degree of which this skill preforms, but it is known her personality heavily limits this skill.
Murasaki Shikibu seemed to have some knowledge of Onmyoudou and you can notice she included some elements of it in a few sections of The Tale of Genji. Speaking in modern terms, she was that kind of author who “actually studies magecraft to write a novel with magecraft in it”.
- The Diary of Lady Murasaki (Rank B): acts as a 'repertoire' of knowledge for Caster. From the Heian Peroid, the knowledge is collected. It is said this skill directly affects her library, storing it with the general books she had taken inspiration from. Whether it be love novels, drama, or merely a small book of fables, she never seems to run out of sources to inspire her.
Ever since she was summoned, she chronicles every event that happened in her days here, be them good or bad. By revising and falsifying the past composed in this diary, it’s possible to cancel a fixed amount damage and injury. “I’ll pretend this never happened.”However, the targets and amount of time reversed need to fulfill several requisites. Actually a Noble Phantasm, but displayed in-game as a Skill.
Special Abilities (Curses)
Murasaki Shikibu can add captions explaining the words and actions of a selected target.
The captions start expositing entirely on their own.
In one way, this can be considered the most powerful curse Abe-no-Seimei taught her. Oh, that terrible man.
Here’s a practical example of how it works!
Andersen: “Oranges? Why should I care? Ridiculous. My fingers would get all smudged.” Caption: “Despite what he says, this boy actually loves himself some sweet oranges.”
Osakabehime: “Heh, so that’s how it is, hehe (smirk)”
Murasaki Shikibu “AH… Not again…!”
Andersen: “? What’s wrong with your faces?”
That’s the most terrifying part: the person with the captions can’t read them!
They're only visible for the people around the target!
How shameful, how despicable! NNNNNNNN, damned be that wretched Abe-no-Seimei!
However, this has one limitation: it’s unable to write lies.
Only the truth can ever appear in the captions.
Forms and Alternate Versions
A mysterious widow clad in a dark-colored swimsuit.
The words spilled from her lips are enigmatic, cold, and foreshadow the creeping bizarreness. Will anyone survive this summer journey? ―――
In the end, that’s the impression of her outfit. It’s not like Rider Murasaki Shikibu is the culprit or mastermind of any case.
“A bewitching widow in a black swimsuit”
“A suspicious sailor uniform girl”
“A woman with a Showa idol-style swimsuit”, the multiple appearances chosen by Murasaki Shikibu for this summer, all of them are just outfits. Put it simply, she enjoys assuming this kind of appearances.
In other words
As a result of having read every story related to summer,
Murasaki Shikibu has become well-informed in detective novels and horror stories, and moreover in horror films to a certain extent. When summer ends, she should quietly return to the usual librarian Murasaki Shikibu, but…
Unexpectedly, she liked it and may wear it indefinitely. Of course not as her usual clothes,but in the interior of the secret library, or in the private area behind the desk, she secretly changes her clothes and enjoys it. If you see her by chance, try saying “You can make them your usual clothes without restraint”. She’ll surely be happy. If you say “You can wear cosplay in front of others without holding back”, you’ll see Murasaki Shikibu denying that it’s cosplay for some reason.
- Riding (Rank B+): No information available.
- Summer Night Black Widow (Rank EX): A skill highly related to the aspect of her first Ascension. A widow that suspiciously smiles at summer nights, AKA a black widow! It’s an appearance with the motif of a mysterious mistress of a mansion that appears in detective novels, specially the one that is similar to “the culprit”, but it’s not like she is the culprit of any case in particular. Put it simply she’s just enjoying her cosplay.
- Bizarre Hobby (Summer) (Rank C++): A skill highly related to the appearance of her second Ascension. As a result of having become intimate with detective novels and horror stories, summer Murasaki Shikibu “I see, this is a modern outfit of summer…” acquired a unique preference for uniforms.
- Literary Maiden (Summer) (Rank A): A skill greatly related to her third Ascension appearance. As a result of having experienced several old films, summer Murasaki Shikibu “I see, this is a modern outfit for summer…” Became interested in Japanese Showa idols, especially in their summer outfits.
- Murasaki's Noble Phantasm is Sotoori Hime - Spider's Demeanour.