The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013 IMDb)

Viewing

Seen in 2015.

Categorization

Folktale, fantasy drama. Written by Takahata Isao and Sakaguchi Riko, as an interpretation of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, believed to have been created in the 10th century CE at the latest.

Subject

A miraculous child found in a bamboo stalk in the forest spends several years as a noble young lady in the capital. Eventually, she must return to her original home.

Commentary

Largely faithful as an adaptation, although larger and more complicated than the original. In that context, shockingly successful as an ideological modernization. The success comes in part because Takahata elects to place the story in a Heian-kyō appropriate to the time period when the story probably got its form. There are no extant manuscripts of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter older than the 16th century, but the story is told here as if it took place in the time of Murasaki Shikibu, who was one of the first to allude to it in preserved writings. The Lady who Loved Insects, a 12th-century short story, is mixed into the original folktale with the result that the main focus of the narrative is on the nature-loving Kaguya's depression in the big city, where young women are kept as treasures, conceptually and physically isolated from nature. A wonderfully compassionate work of feminism and environmentalism, as well as a masterpiece of visual design and animation by Tanabe Osamu and many others.

References here: Ghibli movie titles.

Ghibli Japanese production Suzuki Toshio Takahata Isao animation movie