Taketori Monogatari - The Bamboo Cutter and Kaguya Hime

The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, also known as Taketori Monogatari, is a Japanese folk tale that makes reference to Mount Fuji. This tale from approximately 1592 is also known as “Princess Kaguya’s Tale”.

One day, in a bamboo forest, there was an old bamboo cutter called Taketori no Okina. That day, he came across a mysterious and shiny bamboo stem. After opening it, he miraculously found a child the size of his thumb. He was delighted to find such a beautiful girl and took her home.

He and his wife raised her as their own son and called her Kaguya-hime. After that, Taketori no Okina had a great discovery. Whenever he cut a bamboo stalk, inside it would have a small nugget of gold. and as expected, he soon became rich.

Taketori monogatari - the bamboo cutter and kaguya hime

Kaguya-hime grew from a small baby to a woman of ordinary size and extraordinary beauty. At first, Taketori no Okina tried to keep her away from outsiders. However, as time passed, the news of her beauty spread.

Taketori monogatari - the truth about Kaguya-hime

Finally, five princes went to Taketori’s residence in Okina to propose Kaguya-hime’s hand in marriage. The princes eventually persuaded Taketori no Okina to tell reluctant Kaguya-hime to choose one of them.

Kaguya-hime invented impossible tasks for princes, agreeing to marry the one who managed to bring his specified item. However, none of the princes got the item, and nobody got Kaguya-hime’s hand.

Taketori monogatari - the bamboo cutter and kaguya hime

After what happened to the princes, the emperor of Japan, Mikado, came to see the beautiful Kaguya-hime. and like the others, when she fell in love, she asked him to marry him. But Kaguya-hime also rejected his marriage proposal.

That summer, whenever Kaguya-hime saw the full moon, his eyes filled with tears. Although her adoptive parents were very concerned and questioned her, she was unable to tell them what was wrong. His behavior became more and more irregular.

Finally, she revealed that she was not of this world and should return to her people on the moon.

Taketori monogatari - Kaguya-hime returns to the moon

As the day of his return approached, the emperor sent many guards. They were to guard and protect the Kaguya-hime home from the moon people. However, when an embassy of “celestial beings” arrived at the door of Taketori’s home in Okina, the guards were blinded.

Taketori monogatari - the bamboo cutter and kaguya hime

Kaguya-hime announced that although she loves many friends on Earth, she must return with the people of the Moon. She wrote sad notes of apology to her parents and the emperor. Then he gave his parents his own mantle as a souvenir.

She then took some of the elixir of life, attached it to her letter to the emperor, and gave it to a guard officer. When she handed it to him, her feather cloak was draped over her shoulders. Thus, all Kaguya-hime’s sadness and compassion for the people of Earth were apparently forgotten.

The celestial entourage took Kaguya-hime back to Tsuki no Miyako (“the Capital of the Moon”). Thus, leaving his adoptive parents in tears.

The parents were very sad and soon went to bed sick. The officer returned to the Emperor with the items that Kaguya-hime had given him. In addition, he reported what had happened. The emperor read his letter and was overcome with sadness.

Taketori monogatari - the bamboo cutter and kaguya hime

He asked his servants, "Which mountain is the closest place to heaven?" To which was answered the Great Mountain of Suruga Province. The emperor ordered his men to take the letter to the top of the mountain and burn it there. All in the hope that his message would reach the distant princess.

Men were also ordered to burn the elixir of immortality. After all, the emperor did not want to live forever without being able to see her.

The anime and Manga Houseki no Kuni very reminiscent of the story of Kaguya and the Bamboo Cutter. In the history of the moon entities want to capture the precious stones. Both stories are related to Buddhism. 
Taketori monogatari - the bamboo cutter and kaguya hime

The story is very giant

Legend has it that the word immortality, 不死 (fushi), has become the name of the mountain, Mount Fuji. It is also said that the mountain kanji, 富士山 (literally "Abundant Mountain with Warriors"), is derived from the Emperor's army climbing the mountain slopes to carry out his order.

The smoke from the fire is said to still rise today, which is somewhat true. In the past, Mount Fuji was much more volcanically active and therefore produced more smoke.

Taketori monogatari - the bamboo cutter and kaguya hime

But what do you think about this story? If you have more information, questions, suggestions, just leave your comment. Remembering that this story has several versions with some different details. So, you can leave some information about other versions as well.

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If you want to see the complete and detailed history of Taketori monogatari and the tale of Kaguya Hime, we recommend the books below:

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