The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Kaguya Hime no Monogatari
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CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
2016
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28
Japanese
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March 30, 2021 April 1, 2021

The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter is a 10th-century Japanese monogatari (fairy tale).It was also occasionally known as The Tale of Princess Kaguya. It primarily details the life of a mysterious girl called Kaguya-hime, who was discovered as a baby inside the stalk of a glowing bamboo. Life in this sacred space is idyllic, and the young sylph soon earns the nickname Takenoko (Little Bamboo) for the speed with which she grows. But the equally miraculous discovery of gold and rare fabrics convinces Sanuki that this glowing creature deserves better, and he moves her to the capital to seek a husband befitting her imagined regal status.

A succession of suitors ensue, all desperate to earn the hand of the mysterious young woman whose ethereal beauty has become the stuff of legend. But trapped within the gilded cage of a noble home and rigid social etiquette, the now formally named “Princess Kaguya” longs for the lost countryside of her childhood, and the friendship of handsome ragamuffin Sutemaru, which has sparked an eternal flame in her heart. Animation interpretation of Hayao Miyazaki studio Ghibli and his 79-year-old co-founder Isao Takahata keeps the animation studio’s stock high, amid reports of closure, with what has been rumoured to be his own final film. This adaptation of the 10th-century Japanese folk tale Taketori Monogatari (which has previously inspired such cinematic adventures as Kon Ichikawa’s live-action Princess from the Moon) boasts a sketchier, more impressionistic palette than the bold strokes of Spirited Away or Howl’s Moving Castle, which made Ghibli a global brand.


About the book

The Tale of Princess Kaguya is a mystical tale that, like many similar Japanese writings, seeks to teach the reader the fundamental concepts of living. In this tale the fundamentals thought are kindness and altruism of the bamboo cutter contrasted with the avarice and lust of Kaguya’s suitors.

In fact, one day the cutter finds a tiny girl among the bamboos and takes her home, raising her as a daughter and giving her everything he can. From that day on, he always finds bamboo to cut and makes a fortune. But both the cutter and his wife are getting old and would like to see their daughter married, but she doesn’t want this. Moreover, no one has ever seen her face and many think she is beautiful so much that many men would like to marry her.

When Kaguya realises that she can no longer postpone the marriage, she gives five trials to five suitors and whoever succeeds in completing the trial will be worthy of her hand.

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The Woman in the White Kimono

The Woman in the White Kimono
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Legend Press
May 28th 2019
eBook
352
English
March 24, 2021 March 29, 2021

Japan, 1957. Seventeen-year-old Naoko Nakamura’s prearranged marriage secures her family’s status in their traditional Japanese community. However, Naoko has fallen for an American sailor and to marry him would bring great shame upon her entire family. When it’s learned Naoko carries the sailor’s child, she’s cast out in disgrace and forced to make unimaginable choices with consequences that will ripple across generations.

America, present day. Tori Kovač, caring for her dying father, finds a letter containing a shocking revelation. Setting out to learn the truth, Tori’s journey leads her to a remote seaside village in Japan where she must confront the demons of the past to pave a way for redemption.

Inspired by true stories, The Woman in the White Kimono illuminates a searing portrait of one woman torn between her culture and her heart, and another woman on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.


About the book

The Woman in the White Kimono is a poignant story, which speaks of a rather sad piece of world history. We are in Japan in 1957, therefore after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with American domination still in progress. But Americans aren’t just invasors and bad people, some are good guys who enrolled in the army while still minors to escape the monotony of their lives. Here we meet Naoko who, together with a friend, meets an American, one day as she returns from school. She calls him Hajime because if her family learns that she has fallen in love with a gaijin (外人), a foreigner, she will surely be prevented from meeting him. But when her father decides it’s time for her to get married, she gets the opportunity to introduce her boyfriend to her family before being forced to marry her father’s chosen suitor, Satoshi.

Things are obviously not going well also because Hajime shows up in American uniform and the family still has a “hate” mentality over the Americans.

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