A traditional novel in the sense of giving deep insights into the etiquette-bound world of the Imperial court of Heian period Japan, with lots of historical detail for authenticity. It is also traditional tragedy, as the fatal flaw in the character of this noble lady-in-waiting turns love, memory and truth to dust.
How mysterious it is, the wordless telepathy of friends! She gave me a single look: a glance that was cool but not cold, and contained both a warning and a promise. She was telling me to be silent. K'un: The Passive One. Taciturnity: no blame, no praise. I knew that she was advising me not to confess my guilt. She and the Empress had spoken before I arrived, and she had done all the lying for me.