Princess from the Moon

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Princess from the Moon
Princess from the Moon Poster.jpg
Directed by Kon Ichikawa
Produced by Masaichi Nagata
Written by Kon Ichikawa
Shinya Hidaka
Mitsutoshi Ishigami
Ryûzô Kikushima
Based on The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter
Starring Toshiro Mifune
Ayako Wakao
Kyōko Kishida
Kiichi Nakai
Music by Kensaku Tanikawa
Cinematography Setsuo Kobayashi
Edited by Chizuko Osada
Distributed by Toho
Release date
September 14, 1987 (US)
September 26, 1987 (Japan)
Running time
121 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Princess from the Moon (竹取物語, Taketori monogatari) is a 1987 Japanese film directed by Kon Ichikawa and based on The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, a centuries-old Japanese fairy tale about a girl from the moon who is discovered as a baby inside the stalk of a glowing bamboo plant.


The film was released as Toho's "55th Anniversary Film" in 1987. Ichikawa noted that he had wanted to make this film for many years, and said his intention was to make it a "film of pure diversion".[1] The film was selected as the opening film of the Tokyo International Film Festival, where it was not well received by critics.[2] Toho promoted the film heavily, and it had the second highest theatrical returns of any film that year, but its financial performance did not equal that of Ichikawa's 1985 release, Harp of Burma.[1]

The Dragon prop used in this film was originally going to play the role of the Loch Ness Monster in a collaborative project between Toho and Hammer Film Productions, famous for their Gothic horror films, but that project was shelved.


One day wood cutter Taketori-no-Miyatsuko (Toshiro Mifune) discovers a baby girl while he's out in the forest visiting his daughter's grave. Not wanting to leave the infant to die and because of her resemblance to his dead daughter, he takes the child home with him- only to discover that the child grows at an extraordinarily fast rate. Incredibly beautiful, the now grown child Kaya (Yasuko Sawaguchi) attracts the attention of everyone around her, including the land's Emperor. Unwilling to accept their advances, Kaya gives the men a list of increasingly difficult tasks. By the film's end Kaya returns to outer-space by way of a space ship.



Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 1988, won Japanese Academy Awards 'Newcomer of the Year' for Megumi Odaka[3]
  • 1988, won Japanese Academy Awards 'Best Art Direction' for Shinobu Muraki[3]
  • 1988, won Japanese Academy Awards 'Special Award' for Teruyoshi Nakano, Kenichi Eguchi, Yasuyuki Inoue, Takeshi Miyanishi, Kazunobu Sanpei, Eiichi Asada, Kohei Mikami, and Hiroshi Shirakawa[3]
  • 1988, nominated Japanese Academy Awards 'Best Film'[3]
  • 1988, nominated Japanese Academy Awards 'Best Director' for Kon Ichikawa[3]
  • 1988, nominated Japanese Academy Awards 'Best Cinematography' for Setsuo Kobayashi[3]
  • 1988, nominated Japanese Academy Awards 'Best Editing' for Chizuko Osada[3]
  • 1988, nominated Japanese Academy Awards 'Best Lighting' for Kazuo Shimomura[3]
  • 1988, nominated Japanese Academy Awards 'Best Music Score' for Kensaku Tanikawa[3]
  • 1988, nominated Japanese Academy Awards 'Best Sound' for Teiichi Saito and Tetsuya Ohashi[3]
  • 1988, nominated Japanese Academy Awards 'Best Supporting Actor' for Toshiro Mifune[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b James Quandt, ed., Kon Ichikawa (Indiana University Press, 2001), ISBN 978-0968296936, pp. 91-92, 388-393. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  2. ^ Kazuhiro Tateishi, "The Tale of Genji in Postwar Film: Emperor, Aestheticism, and the Erotic", in Haruo Shirane, ed., Envisioning the Tale of Genji: Media, Gender, and Cultural Production (Columbia University Press, 2013), ISBN 978-0231513463, p. 326. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Japan Academy Prize Association website

External links[edit]