Kaguya Hime

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    • For the member of the Imperial Family see: Kaguyahime.

Kaguya Hime

Kaguya Hime (かぐや姫)can relate to two different people in japanese folktales.

The Bamboo Cutter

Kaguyahime returning home by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi.

In this particular folktale, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, she is found as a small child inside of a piece of bamboo. After growing up she becomes very beautiful and many Samurai wish to marry her.

She sets them all tasks to proove they are worthy but all fail, eventually the Emperor comes and also falls in love with her.

In the end she reveals she must return home to the moon but before leaving gives The Elixir of Life to the Emperor which he then takes to Mount Fuji and burns.1

Princess Glory

is a kami who lives upon Mount Fuji. She is mentioned during the Folktale Princess Glory which can be found in the Shintōshū.

In the tale, she learns of a lonely old couple who want a child and so disguises herself as a child, hiding in a bamboo grove for them to find her. She brings them happiness and they watch her grow. Eventually as a woman she marries a man who falls in love with her.

After, the old couple die, she reveals who she really is to her husband telling him she has to return to the summit of Mount Fuji where she once lived. Her husband didn’t wish her to leave, and so she said he could see her if he climbed to the summit. And failing that he could look at her using a box of incense which she left him as a parting gift. And so she returned to the mountain, leaving her husband alone.

He used the box but could only see an indistinct shadowy form and so he endeavoured to climb the mountain. At the summit he found a lake, with an island in its centre, and upon it the palace of Kaguya-hime. But, the vapour which rose from the lake only gave him the most fleeting glimpses of his wife, and so disappointed and alone, he clutched the box to his heart and jump from the precipice of the mountain to his death.2


1. Ozaki, Y.T. (2015) “Japanese Fairy Tales” USA: Cavalier Classics.
2. Tyler, R. (1987) “Japanese Tales.” New York: Pantheon Books.

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Kaguya Hime