The ascension of Princess Kaguya (かぐや姫の昇天, excerpt)

Around this time, after dusk and around midnight, the vicinity of the house was shining throughout, even more brightly than the day; it was about ten times the brightness of the full moon, to the extent that you could see somebody’s pores. People rode on clouds and descended from the heavens, and they were standing in line about five feet above the ground. Seeing this, the people inside and outside the house, as if their souls were possessed by something, lost their fighting spirits. When they barely recollected themselves, even though they wanted to raise bows and arrows, their hands lost strength and were weak and limp. Even though there was a brave one who put up with his fear and tried a shot, the arrow flew elsewhere; now even if they had gone wild they could not fight, and they were totally dazed, staring at each other.

As for the people standing, their clothes were elegant and gorgeous, unlike normal ones. They had brought a flying carriage with a large silk sunshade. When the man inside, who seemed to be the King, said, “Miyatsuko-maro, come” to the house, Miyatsuko-maro, who had been brave, became also overwhelmed, and was looking at the ground. “You, immature person. Because you, old man, did some small good deeds, thinking to help you, I sent her down. Although I thought would just do it for a short time, I had been giving you gold for all these years, and you became like a changed person. Because Princess Kaguya had committed a sin, she ended up being with such low people like you for a little while. While we come to take her back because the punishment has come to an end, you, old man, cannot cry and grieve. Quickly, bring her out!”, the man said. The old man answered, “I have been raising Princess Kaguya for over twenty years. I became suspicious when you said ‘for a short time’. There must be a person called Princess Kaguya in some other place.” When he then said, “the Princess Kaguya here is gravely ill, so she cannot come out”, there was no response; the man moved his flying carriage close to the top of the house and said, “well, Princess Kaguya. Why should you stay in an indecent place for a long time?” The door, which had been shut, immediately simply opened. The lattices also opened even without a person. Princess Kaguya, who was held by the sitting old woman, ended up going outside. Because the old woman couldn’t stop Princess Kaguya, she could only look up and cry. The Bamboo Cutter was stupefied and crying with his head pointing to the ground. Although Princess Kaguya came to him and said, “since I, too, leave like this, although not of my own accord, at least send me off when I ascend”, the old man said, “why should I send you off in sorrow? What say you I should do after you abandon me and ascend! I wish you could take me along when you leave!” and cried with his head down, stupefied. “Allow me to write some words down. In those times when you miss me dearly, please take it out and read”, Princess Kaguya said, and wrote tearfully as the following:

If I had been born into this world, I would have served you so as not to cause you grief, but I was unable to serve you in that way; repeatedly I regret that I have had to part with you. Please take the clothes I have taken off as a keepsake. Please look afar in my direction on the nights when the moon comes out. From the sky where I have left you behind, I will undoubtedly feel as if I am falling.

Amongst the heavenly people were ones who held boxes, inside which a feathered robe lay. Inside another was medicine of immortality. One heavenly person said, “please take the divine medicine in the jar. Since you have eaten things of the indecent place, your body must feel unwell”, and brought it close. Then Princess Kaguya took a little lick, and, thinking to leave a little as a keepsake, wanted to wrap it into the clothes she had taken off, but a heavenly person did not allow it. When the people were to put the divine robe on her, Princess Kaguya said, “wait!”; as she said, “I hear people say that the heart of a person who puts on the clothing becomes different. There is one thing that I have to say beforehand”, she started writing words down. The heavenly people were impatient and said, “it is late”; Princess Kaguya said, “do not talk about the thing which you do not know about”, and wrote a letter to the emperor, looking composed:

Thinking that now is the time to depart,
when I put on the heavenly feathered robe,
I recall my lord with deep emotion.

She took the letter, together with the medicine in the jar, and summoned To no Chujo to have him send it to the emperor. The heavenly beings took these and gave them to Chujo. When Chujo took these with him, the heavenly people suddenly put the heavenly feathered robe on her; then even her thoughts that the old man was pitiful and sorrowful disappeared. Because the troubled thoughts of the person who had put on this clothing would disappear, Princess Kaguya rode onto the carriage and ascended with about a hundred heavenly people.