Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Japanese Folk Tale: Princess Kaguya

A really long time ago, in some countryside, there was one old couple that had no children. They lived by cutting and selling bamboos. One day, the old man went to a forest to get bamboos as usual, and found the bright bamboo. He thought the bamboo could be sold for a good price and he tried to cut soon. But, he couldn’t do that, because he noticed there was a pretty little girl into that. It made him very surprised, but the old couple wanted their child for so long. Then he decided to take her his home and raised her as their real child with his wife. Of course, when he came back to home with the girl, the old woman was surprised but really happy. They named her Kaguya and took care of her. They became a good family and were satisfied with their lives. Such happy lives had continued until Kaguya rose as marriageable women.

She became awfully beautiful lady. Her beauty was not like human, but a fairy or pretty flower. Her hair was extremely long and jet-black like a wing of a black bird. Her eyes were deeply dark as a sky of night, nose was as tall as a mountain, and mouth was pink like a cherry. The skin was similar to pottery and all her actions are elegant. All men who knew about Kaguya wanted to marry her. However, she didn’t want to marry anybody. Still, five rich men seriously wanted to marry with her, and they dangled after her loudly. Finally they became like stalkers, Kaguya said that she would marry whoever could gain what she wants. Of course, they agreed with this idea. She showed five different things as she wanted individually; the bowl of Buddha, the branch with the ball of the water lily, the far of the fire mouse, the bead of the dragon, and the swallow’s talisman. It was almost impossible to get all those things, and they tried as hard as they could, but couldn’t.

This story spread over the city and the Mikado had interest with Kaguya. And, without exception, when he saw her first, the Mikado fell in love. He also wanted to marry with her and the old couple thought it was good for Kaguya. However, she said only no. They couldn’t understand and asked her why. First, she just bended her head, but started to talk about her true story. In fact, she was the liver in the moon. And she had done something bad and been exiled to the earth as a punishment. She said she had to go back the moon soon. That fact made them really sad and they asked her not to leave here. But, she said, the army of the moon would pickup me and nobody could intercept them. What they could do is just crying. After, the Mikado heard about this also and he prepared for fighting back the moon army.

Meanwhile, the time is coming. As she said, the moon army came from the dark sky with a strong wind. The army of the Mikado tried to hit them, but their attack was not effective at all. They didn’t care about such attacks and said Kaguya to come with them. She followed that. In front of the old couple and the Mikado, she started to walk in the way to go the moon. She said goodbye and thank you for the old parents and gave the “Fuji” medicine to live eternally and have no aging to the Mikado. Like this Kaguya went back to the moon.

After her leaving, the Mikado ordered to burn this medicine in the highest mountain in Japan, and now the mountain is called “Fuji-mountain”.

Ayuko Watanabe


jhazmine said...

is that a retold story?or that is the original???