The Mystery of Bamboo Princess, Japanese Teach Us About What We Can Learn from the Story👸🎋


Japanese folktales Japanese picture books

X f B! P L ブログランキング・にほんブログ村へ

Hello. I am Japanese, a mother of two girls and also a certified librarian. I read picture books to my children every day. This time I will write about "Kaguyahime". It is a work of mystery, isn't it? ;)

This work is said to be the oldest science fiction story in Japan.

What does bamboo symbolize?

Bamboo in "Bamboo princess" has a variety of symbolic meanings. Here are some common interpretations.

Purity and purity

Bamboo is a symbol of purity and innocence in Japanese culture and is used to represent the beauty and nobility of Bamboo princess.

Disorder and Mystery

The scene in which the master bamboo-cutter cuts through the bamboo to discover Bamboo princess symbolizes finding the mysterious in the disorder of the natural world.

Temporality and change

Bamboo grows quickly and rapidly, so it is also used in the story as a symbol of change and growth for princess.

Instability and fragility

Bamboo is often considered windswept and fragile, and can be understood as an element representing the instability of princess's destiny and the transience of her life.


Bamboo can serve as an amulet in some traditional Japanese beliefs and festivals. Amulets, flutes, and ornaments made of bamboo leaves are believed to protect against evil spirits.


Bamboo is used in sacred events at shrines and by the Shinto priesthood to cleanse shrines and sacred areas. The purpose of such events is to exorcise evil spirits and maintain purity.

 Bamboo is used in Japanese annual events, especially during the New Year to exorcise evil spirits. Ornaments and staffs made of bamboo leaves are used in ceremonies to drive away bad luck and are believed to bring good fortune.

These symbolic elements are used to give deeper meaning to the overall story of "Bamboo Princess" and to emphasize the themes of the story and the character's personality.

Why did Princess  return to the moon?

Sent from the Moon

In stories, Princess is said to have come from the moon and is sometimes regarded as a messenger of the moon. Thus, her return to the moon is thought to be either a return to her original mission and origin or a necessity to return to the mystical world of the moon.

Adaptation to the human world

Princess had chosen to live in the human world, which resulted in many suitors and problems surrounding her. It is possible that Princess was unable to endure the suffering and contradictions of the human world and felt that the moon world was the true place for her.

Mysteries and immortality

The moon is sometimes associated with the mystery of immortality in Japanese legend, and Princess's return to the moon is interpreted as an act to regain her immortality.

These theories and interpretations are not specifically discussed in the story, and the true reason for Princess's return to the moon is considered mysterious. As part of the story, philosophical musings and sentimental themes about life and death are explored as Bamboo Princess leaves the human world.

What you can learn from this work

Exploration of humanity

The story emphasizes an exploration not only of beauty and wealth, but also of humanity and love, suggesting the importance of valuing inner values rather than obsessing only over outward appearances and material success.

Individuality and uniqueness

Bamboo Princess respected her own unique choices, free from the expectations of others and the norms of society. This illustrates the importance of respecting individual uniqueness and choosing one's own path.

Harmony with Nature

The story emphasizes the importance of harmony with nature, and begins with the Taketori Master(Bamboo Cutter) finding Princess in a bamboo grove. Respect and harmony with nature are emphasized.

Wisdom and sagacity

Princess was wise and intelligent, and used her knowledge to solve problems. This suggests the importance of wisdom.

The transience of life

The story includes a philosophical reflection on Princess's hope for immortality and the transience of life. It offers insight into the shortness of life and parting.

Relationships and Friendships

Princess turned down offers from many suitors, valuing friendship and trust. It shows that true friendship and trust are worth more than material wealth.


The story depicts the loving parent-child bond between Princess and Taketori, suggesting the importance of family and love.

These lessons and learnings are valuable in thinking about relationships, life values, and personal growth.

Impressions from a 5 year old girl

I feel sorry that she wanted to live with Kaguyahime but couldn't. But this is the wabi-sabi of Japanese works.




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