Book Review, fairy tale, Fiction, N3

[N3] かぐや姫(ひめ)

This version of the fairy tale of Princess Kaguya for learners with N3 abilities was written by Takahashi Sōko for a graded reader series by ask and NPO Tagengo Tadoku. I’ve introduced it already during the #letsreadkaguyahime reading challenge.

Kaguya is found inside fresh cut bamboo as a child and grows up to become a beautiful young woman. While many young men line up to marry her, she longs to return to where she came from.

When I read the other versions of this tale in February, I kind of began to see some patterns in telling the tale of Princess Kaguya. For example, the distribution of tasks sometimes names every item Kaguya wishes for while other versions just summarize this part. Another part that can differ is whether or not the emperor is included as one of Kaguya’s suitors.

This version has both parts – the required items and the emperor. It also includes more details towards the end that I found interesting, as the other versions told the ending a bit differently. Because I keep these book reviews spoiler free, I won’t go further into detail, but if you are interested, compare the ending of this story to the ending of this retelling in very simple Japanese for example 😉

This version of Kaguyahime is part of a graded reader set that is purchasable through Amazon Japan. This set also includes two short stories by Akutagawa and two by Lafcatio Hearn. Furthermore there is 注文(ちゅうもん)(おお)料理店(りょうりてん) and a non-fiction book. All 5 books are appropriate to read with intermediate Japanese abilities. You can get it here.

Length: 30 pages

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