Murasaki Shikibu (c. 973–c. 1014 or 1025), or Lady Murasaki as she is often known in English, was a Japanese novelist, poet, and a maid of honor of 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 1008, one of the earliest novels in human history.
"Murasaki Shikibu" was not her real name, which is unknown. Some scholars have postulated that her given name might have been Fujiwara Takako, recorded as a name of a lady-in-waiting ranked shōji on the 29th day of the 1st month, Kankō 4 (February 19, 1007) according to Midō Kampaku Ki, a diary written by Fujiwara no Michinaga, although this theory has not been supported by many others.