Miholly Times


<英語ブログ>かぐや姫の物語を英語で紹介します♪ Filled with emotions by watching The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

Hello, this is Miholly, a couple living in Kansai (Kyoto / Osaka) region, Japan:) In this blog, I would periodically want to write about our daily thoughts living in Japan. Hope it will be interesting for people living around the world ;)



This time I would like to share my thoughts after watching the film "The Tale of The Princess Kaguya". Hopefully more people will have an interest toward the film and the Japanese culture and history behind it. Here we go!



The Tale of The Princess Kaguya  -かぐや姫の物語-


There are so many old tales around the world and so do in Japan. One the most well known is the tale of Princess Kaguaya that is written around Heian Period 9th-10th century. And in 2013 Studio Ghibili, an animation studio well known for several masterpieces, created a film of this tale "The Tale of The Princess Kaguya". The film, directed by Takahata Isao is nominated as an 87th Animation Award for Best Animated Feature. With this film, the very well known tale was suddenly reformed into dramatic story, and it made me feel burst into several emotions.




スタジオジブリHPより引用: https://www.ghibli.jp/kaguyahime/


Storyline  -あらすじ-


First of all, let me share with you the basic story line of Princess Kaguya.

If you want to see the English trailer here it is:

まずはかぐや姫の基本的なあらすじについて紹介します。(ネタバレ注意) もし、予告編を見たい場合はこちらも見てみてくださいね。




In the Village  -村で-


There was an old bamboo-cutter Okina ("Old man" in old Japanese), who was out in the mountain doing his routine of cutting and collecting bamboo and bamboo shoots. Then he finds one of a bamboo shining brightly in front of him. As he cut into the bamboo, he finds a tiny girl sleeping in it. And Okina and his wife decide to raise this girl feeling a sense of fate. The girl grows up in a very speedy manner, and starts to play around with the children in the village, and eventually be named "Takenoko (Baboo shoot in Japanese)". She also has a close relationship with a friend called Sutemaru.



One day Okina finds again shining bamboo on the mountain, and there he finds lots of gold and variety of beautiful cloth used for dresses. By facing this incident, Okina realizes that this is the will of God to raise Takenoko as a member of the noble society in the capitol, and let her become the princess.



To the Capital  -都へ-


Okina and his wife move into the city to the palace with several servants, and let Takenoko a receive special training to become a noble princess. Eventually Takenoko is given a name Princess Kaguya. Although, Kaguya is opposed to the noble lifestyle that sacrifices her freedom, her reputation of beauty gradually spreads in the capital, and there comes five men who wish to marry her. Being doubtful about their intention, Kaguya gives each of them a quest to bring the precious treasures that the suiters say Kaguya have the same level of value. However, all of the suitors fail to bring the treasure.



To the Moon  -月へ-


Eventually Mikado (the Emperor) request Okina to let Kaguya be his wife. However Kaguya declines him feeling fear of his aggressive approach purely based on his desire. And at the same time, she spontaneously makes a wish to go back to her home place, the moon.



Although Kaguya actually has the strong thought towards her life in the capital, it is too late to regret it and take back her wish. She also imagines the possible life that she could have spent in the village with Sutemaru.



Kaguya confesses to Okina and his wife that she came from the moon, and at the next full moon there will be a she need to go back. Okina could not accept her confession and try as much as he can to protect Kaguya from the people of the moon.



However, on the night of the full moon, none of the protective measure had an effect. Kaguya is taken back by the Gods in the moon, and she had to wear a cloth that erased her memories during the time spent with Okina and his wife . Finally, as Kaguya approaches to the moon, she looks back at the earth with tears, having slight dream of the days she spent on the land. 



Full of Emotions -溢れ出る感情-


Though this tale is well known story for us, I have never thought about the real feeling of the characters in this story until now. Then I was surprised by watching this film by Studio Ghibli. The emotions of each character were portrayed in detail, and it gave me an impact to feel as if I am experiencing the story in the film. Not only Kaguya, but Okina and her wife and the friend Sukemaru... all of them experience a transition of Emotions as they spend the time together with Kaguya. It is just my surprise that the old time story, the emotions are portrayed in detail and thorough manner.



Such world that we live in may be far different than that of the perfected environment of people in heaven. But looking through Kaguya's point of view, it made me realize the beauty of our world that is filled with a variety of emotions, not only happiness but also sadness, anger and many more. Thing are not always what we intend to be, but that is what makes our life interesting... and it made me cry.



Life of Heian Period in Motion -平安時代の暮らしが活き活きと-


Also, the way the various scenes of the Heian period society were illustrated in the film were very interesting. The way noble people enjoy rich and gorgeous living, and how the people in the village make their living through hunting, gathering, and crafting of the plates.



For most of us, the way we imagine the life of the past time is through historical pictures in the textbook, which is not really fun to see.. (especially during examination time..) If I could watch this film during my past school time, surely I would have more interest to my history classes. 



Just as an example here are some of the painting that depicts the tale of Princess Kaguya. Both are painted around the 17th century. How interesting to see this at this moment after watching the film :)




Okina brings home baby Kaguya



Kaguya goes back to the moon


As a Closing Note  -終わりに-


If you are interested in the film, please take your time and watch. The Blu-ray and DVD provide English dubbing and subtitles as well, so it should be great for learning English and Japanese as well. I am very interested to hear your comments as well, not only Japanese but especially the people living abroad :) 




Thank for reading and if you are interested please try my other English blog as well :)





See you again in the next article (^^)/