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Manga: Taketori Monogatari

Students read the manga of the story of Kaguyahime. There are tasks to complete and discussion questions. They can also perform the skit or use it as a base for discussion on its themes and the topic of fairy tales.

The Japanese story たけとりものがたり(the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter) is widely known as the tale of かぐやひめ(Princess of the Moon). たけとりものがたりis the earliest remaining fictional narrative written in Japanese. The story draws on worldwide fairytale motifs, and was written in the early Heian Period (between 850 and 950).


1. Ordering task: Students receive the manga jumbled up and they piece it together again. (Use the resource “Kaguyahime Manga Without Numbers”.)

2. Matching task: The teacher cuts up the story outline and students match the pieces with the manga.

3. Understanding the story:
(1) Write the names of all the characters in the story.
(2) Name the five items in Japanese which Kaguyahime asked the noblemen to bring back.
(3) Create your own title for the story.
(4) Discuss the following points:

  • Why do you think Kaguyahime sent the noblemen on such difficult quests?
  • Why do you think Kaguyahime kept her identity secret?

4. Sing the Japanese song 月 (Moon)

If you would like to hear the tune:

5. After reading the story, students can act it out and enter the Video Matsuri Contest!

Students’ handout for doing a skit can be downloaded from here.

Skit Script (Word 26KB)

Additional Resources

  • Please read the Teacher’s Notes on Japanese Folktales.
Teacher’s Notes: Japanese Folktales (PDF 132KB)
  • Please read the Teacher’s Notes on Taketori Monogatari.
Teacher’s Notes: Kaguyahime (PDF 110KB)

Resource created by Himiko Negishi-Wood (March 2005).

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