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The Bamboo Lady (introduction)

Old Stories in Japan 25. かぐや姫


Long, long ago there lived an old man and his wife in a village, who were earning money by cutting bamboo and making the baskets or plates of it.
One day he went to the bamboo forest as usual, when he found one bamboo shining. He cut it, to his surprise, found a girl-baby in it.
The old man and his wife, having no children, named her "Kaguya Hime(Bamboo Princess)" and decided to raise her like their own child.
Whenever he went cutting the bamboo after that, he found money in it. Soon they became rich.
This young girl grew and grew, day by day, to be a very beautiful lady. Hearing of her beauty, many young men from many places visited her house one after another to propose her.
But she never showed her interest in them. She seemed to have something on her mind, looking up at the sky. As her father couldn't ignore their proposal, he told them that the man who brought the imaginary treasure in the world could have the right to marry her.
Even though some of them really brought the treasure, she at once found it false.
Soon she began to weep every night whenever she saw the moon.
"What makes you so sad? What's the matter?" asked the father.
"I'm all right. Listen to me. To tell the truth, I was born on the moon. I must return to the moon on the night of 15th,November, when they will come to meet me."
"That's nonsense." said the father, very embarrassed and angry.
The very day was tomorrow. The father hired many strong and armed soldiers to guard her from the visitors. He never hoped she would return to the moon.
On the very day, the moon was appearing over the mountain, when the gold light flashed on them. Many soldiers in vain shot many arrows toward the moon. With the flash they lost their power and fell into sleep.
An angel was coming down over the house among from the light of the moon. Kaguya Princess couldn't help following it. She slowly flew up to the sky in hands with the angel. Nothing could stop them.
The old man and his wife were doing nothing but watch her departure.
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DILI

Author:DILI
関西在住。平日は北陸方面で単身赴任中。
息子は、父の影響で大の鉄道好き。
用事が無くても電車に乗る。

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