Old-Fashioned Lover Boy

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He danced gracefully, powdered his face, wrote delicate poetry and wore layer upon layer of color-coordinated robes. He mixed his own scent, which women recognized when he entered a room. Genji, the son of an Emperor, had the stuff that made women—and even men—swoon in Japan's 10th century Heian era. In Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji), the first psychological novel ever written, he's known as the "shining" prince.

Today, 1,000 years after author Murasaki Shik-ibu created him, Genji is a reigning studmuffin in the land of his birth. A big-budget cinematic version of The Tale of Genji...