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”かぐや姫の物語 The Fairy Tale of Princess Kaguya”, Crime and Punishment the Princess Committed

Essay19 about Japanese culture image  
Recently, I went to a theatre to watch "かぐや姫の物語 The Fairy Tale of Princess Kaguya" directed by Isao Takahata, a great animation director who established Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki.

The movie is based on 竹取物語(たけとりものがたり The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter), a classic story which is said to be "日本最古(にほんさいこ)の物語 the oldest story in Japan". 


There is no Japanese who never read the fairy tale in his/her childhood, and we also study the classic sentences in junior high school.
"今は昔、竹取(たけとり)の翁(おきな)といふ者(もの)ありけり。野山(のやま)にまじりて竹(たけ)を取(と)りつつ、よろづのことに使(つか)ひけり。Once upon a time, there was an old bamboo cutter. He made a living by cutting some bamboos in the mountains, and took advantage of it in various ways."


The movie begun with this narration, the same as the original story. The story in the movie was almost the same as the original one. Of course, the director dramatized it a little but never broke the original. It made me astonished, and it was touching. I again realized that the story of princess Kaguya, which we have been familiar with since our childhoods, is such a deep and meaningful story. 


In the movie, you can learn about many old Japanese customs naturally, such as after one lady begins her first menstruation and is admitted as an adult, she puts white powder, "白粉 Oshiroi", on her face, plucks her eyebrows, "引き眉 hikimayu", and paints her teeth black, "お歯黒 ohaguro".
In addition to that, you can see old Japanese noble cultures, beautiful sceneries of mountains, cherry blossoms, and snow etc.... This is a fantastic movie for learning old Japanese culture and customs, which flow in our deep minds or spirits.


I hope many Japanese watch this movie, and besides, since I want many foreigners who are interested in Japan to watch the movie, I hope the film can be put on the screens overseas.


かぐや姫の物語 Official Site