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Online Prints Catalogue
  • Prints

Received back into Moon Palace — Bamboo Cutter


Item code : DUh061

Artist Yoshitoshi Tsukioka
Subject Spirits & Religion
Series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon
Publisher Akiyama Buemon
Format Oban (Vertical)
Size 23.2 x 35.4 cm
Date Meiji (1868 - 1912)


This heartrending scene comes from Taketori monogatari, or “Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,” written in the late Heian period. Kaguyahime, or “Shining Princess,” looks down at the human world for the very last time as she floats back on a cloud to her home in the moon. Her mother Joga, the Queen of the Moon, sent her daughter down to earth as punishment, and the infant Kaguyahime appeared to an elderly woodcutter from a bamboo stem. The old man and his wife take great care of the child until she grows up to become a lovely young woman.

Word of her beauty reaches the emperor, who then wishes to marry her. She refuses, and instead leaves him a poem and a jar filled with the elixir of immortality. He later takes the elixir and pours it into the depths of Mount Fuji, and offers the poem to the mountain by burning it on the edge of the volcano where a shrine exists today. Here, we see the woodcutter begging Kaguyahime not to depart this world; nevertheless, two attendants carry her off into the sky.


Acceptable, slight paper worn out and left margin with publisher's seal half trimmed.