かぐやひめ Kaguya Hime Princess Kaguya Once upon a time in Japan, there lived a gentle old man and his kind old wife.
One day he went to the woods behind their house to cut some bamboo. There he found one of the bamboo shining brightly.
"My, my, what's happened to this bamboo?" he thought "It's shinning so brightly."
When he cut it off he found a little baby girl inside the bamboo.
" Oh, what a tiny, adorable baby! Well, well, come to me." He said, and he decided to take her home with him.
He and his wife named her Kaguya-hime and raised her up with tender loving care.
Kaguya-hime grew bigger and bigger and became as beautiful and graceful as a princess.
Rumors of her beauty spread out all over the country and many fine young men came to visit her, bring gifts and asking her to be their bride.
In this way the old couple became very rich.
However, Kaguya-hime wasn't willing to be the bride of any of those men.
Instead, she asked them difficult questions again and again, leaving them confused and at a loss.
Not long after all this began Kaguya-hime began to show sings of growing weaker and weaker little by litte.
Whenever night came she would look up at the moon and cry.
The old couple became very worried about Kaguya-hime and asked her, " Kaguya-hime, why are you crying and looking up at the moon all the time?"
Then Kaguya Hime answered,
" To tell the truth, I come from the moon. Soon people from the moon will come to bring me back there.I'm crying because I am very sad that I will soon have to say good bye to both of you."
The old couple were surprised and told the Emperor what Kaguya-hime had told them.
At last the day for moon people to come for Kaguya-hime. But the Emperor had fallen in love with Kaguya-hime and he sent a great number of his samurai warriors to protect her.
On that night the full moon rose high in the sky. Then, as the moon shone brightly a beautiful ox cart surrounded by the moon people came dowm from the sky.
Although the Samurai tried to shoot at it with their arrows, they couldn't see a thing because of the bright, shining light.
" Grandpa and Grandma, thank you very much for having taken such good care of me. Now my time has come. I must leave and return to the moon. Promise me that you will always take good care of each other and watch over your health. Good bye."
With tears in her eyes Kaguya-hime said farewell to the old, got into the shining ox cart from the moon, and rose into the sky.
produced by International Digital EHON Association presented by International Digital EHON Association written by Satoru Mabuchi illustrated by Noriko Itani translated by Ronald L. Kibler