I had promised a KiriBaku kid something like months ago, and tbh most of the reason why it took me this long is because I couldn’t pick between these two so?? In the end just have them both I guess - some info about them under cut, in case you wanna know more!!
so while i was in japan i stumbled upon a pop up alien and space museum/art gallery (if you can’t find a thing in tokyo, it probably doesn’t exist) and there were these gorgeous feudal paintings of the tale of the bamboo cutter and it’s a very good story but
kaguya is the princess of the moon. she is a young child, gangly thin limbs and a plump mouth permanently set in a stubborn pout. she is a beautiful child, even by the moon’s standards, with her cold opal eyes and hair the same deep black as the void of space. she is an unruly, irritable child. she runs from the priestesses who attempt to teach her her duties, and steps on the feet of little princes from far away stars that her parents parade in front of her. she can’t be soothed by sweets, by soft toys, by pretty songs. she is a being of constant want, and nothing in the whole of space seems to satisfy her.
kaguya does not love the moon as she should. she does not find beauty in it’s silvery, iridescent ground, nor in the pools beneath its surface that glint like mercury. she finds her citizens stuffy and annoying, and all the people from the stars think they’re better than them just because they shine a little brighter. it makes kaguya cross – the sun shines brightest of all, and the only beings that still reside on it is a great monster of a dragon that no one dares cross.
the priestesses try to entice her to learn this portion of her duties at least, but she runs from them and plugs her ears and does not listen. there are times when the sun and moon cross paths, and when they do the great dragon of the sun attempts to gobble them up whole. it is only by praying to the god tsukuyomi and erecting a barrier that the royal family can protect their home from the sun dragon.
it is kaguya’s most sacred duty, and she has no interest in it.
she’s simultaneously bored by her home and insulted when others find it lacking, and this contrary rational might be distressing to the logic of an adult, but kaguya is not an adult. she is a child, and being contrary is her prerogative.
she is walking through in the courtyard behind a palace when a shooting star passes her by, then circles back again. it’s s such a little thing, it must have been traveling for a very long time, because it’s burned down so it’s only about half as big as kaguya. this means the star is very old. “child,” the falling star says, voice ancient and crackling, “why are you sad?”
“i am not sad,” she answers, but as soon as she says that she knows it’s a lie, and tears prick at her eyes. “i am always lonely, though i am surrounded by people. i am always bored, though there are many things to entertain me. i am always angry, though there is nothing wrong. i am sad because i am a piece that does not fit.”
“maybe you are simply a piece that belongs to a different puzzle,” the falling star says, “come, climb onto me, and i will i take you somewhere new.”
“will it be better?” she asks.
if a falling star could shrug this one would, but it can’t so it doesn’t. “it will be different.”
different sounds better to kaguya. she agrees, not bothering to say goodbye to her parents or her people, does not take one last look at the beauty of the moon’s surface. instead she climbs onto the falling star, her skin thick enough that she does not feel its burn, and rides it all the way down, until it is a star no longer and only a falling rock, until she goes tumbling onto a whole new planet, and as she falls she thinks that this new planet looks very green.
there is an old man called taketori no okina. he lives alone in a great bamboo field, and every day he wakes up at dawn and cuts bamboo until dusk, then he goes home and eats and sleeps and wakes up in the morning to do it all again. when he was a young man, taketori no okina fell in love with a samurai who had laughter lines around his mouth and strong hands, who taught him how to wield blades with a strength and skill that could cut down the strongest soldiers. but taketori no okina only uses it to harvest bamboo. the samurai was engaged to the daughter of a respectable family, and so he left. he left his village not long after the samurai, unable to be there alone in the place where they used to be together. taketori no okina’s heart was so full of love for his samurai that he could not bear to love another, and so he never did.
he is awoken in the middle of the night by a bang that shakes his home and nearly deafens him. he stumbles outside, and a couple miles into his field he sees smoke. he goes running for it, concerns about fire and war – they’re in a time of peace now, but they weren’t always – rushing through his mind as he stumbles through. when he reaches the source, it’s to find his bamboo flattened in a ten foot wide circle and a little girl lying in the center. he falls to his knees beside her and carefully picks her up, cradling her in his arms. she’s pale, like she doesn’t spend enough time in the sun, and has long black hair. her thin chest rises and falls with her deep breaths, and he is relieved that she’s alive. “little girl,” he says, “you must wake up and tell me if you are all right.”
she opens her eyes, two pearls set in her delicate face. “i am well,” she says, and smiles at him. she curls into him, setting her head against his chest, “you are warm. i will stay with you, for you are warm and have a kind face.”
she falls asleep once more, a hand clutching something laying across her stomach and her other hand fisted into his robe. taketori no okina looks at this little girl and feels his heart expand, until it’s straining against his rib cage. he loves his samurai as much as he always has, but now his heart is bigger. it’s made room so he can fill it with love for this little girl, and so he does.
he carries her to his home and settles her into his bed. it’s a small bed, meant only for one, and she is a little thing, but he does not wish to crowd her, so takes the floor. tomorrow he will build her a bed and take her to market and show her the hot springs near the mountain. for now he falls asleep listening to her soft breathing with a smile.
the next morning he wakes up to her sitting on the floor by his side, running her fingers over a pockmarked stone. “what is that?”
“it is all that is left of my friend. she was once a great star but she fell, as all great stars must. she carried me here because i was sad. but now i am sad that she is gone.”
“that’s all right,” taketori no okina says, and she blinks down at him. no one had ever told her that it was okay that she was sad before. “she was very special, so we must put her in a very special place.”
he gets up and builds a ledge across the window with a platform just big enough for the stone to fit. he lifts her up so that she can set what’s left of her friend on it herself. “now she can see you and sky she came from at the same time, and you will always be able to see her.”
“she cannot see anything anymore,” she says, but she likes the idea of it, the sentiment. she feels less sad at her loss now, although she can’t say why, since nothing has changed.
once he has set her back on her feet she looks up at him and says, “i am kaguya. what shall i call you?”
“they call me taketori no okina,” he pushes a lock of her dark hair behind her ear, “you may call me whatever you like.”
she wrinkles her nose at that name. it is too long, and too formal. if she is to call him that, then he might as well call her princess kaguya, and she might as well not have left the moon at all. “i will call you oyaji,” she declares, and it’s not a term she’d used even with her father on the moon, but for this old man who built her a shelf and carried her home and had large, rough hands that touch her gently, she thinks it fits.
kaguya quite likes the new planet and her new father. he is man who’s spent a lifetime working and doing little else. he has a tidy savings that he cheerfully depletes on her; he buys her colorful kimonos for her to wear when he walks her to market, and functional kosodes for the days she spends playing in the river and darting through the bamboo forests. he tells her stories at night, of his samurai, of the emperor, and when he exhausts his reservoir of stories about this land, he tells her the tales of other ones – the fire-rats of china, the buddha of india, and when he even those run out he tells her of dragons, of a magical island called horai.
she loves these stories, and she loves him. there are days when she is sad and cross, and on those days oyaji kisses her forehead and tucks the blanket around her shoulder and brings her something spicy from the market for dinner. oyaji just lets her be sad or angry when she wants to be, and because of that kaguya finds that now she gets sad less and less, that more often than not she’s …. happy.
she notices the special care oyaji takes when he talks of samurai, and sees the strength and power in his limbs when he cuts bamboo, and decides she would like to be strong like the samurai in his stories, like oyaji is himself. so she asks and asks, and he’s worried that it’s too dangerous for her. but oyaji loves her like she’s his own flesh and blood, and is unable to deny her anything.
kaguya grows up. she grows up on stories of far off lands and magic, she grows up on warm, simple food made by someone who loves her, she grows up learning to wield blades with the same brute efficiency as oyaji. kaguya grows up beautiful. her skin is darker now that she dances in the sun’s rays, her hair is long and fine, and her eyes are as they’ve always been – pale and beautiful, small versions of the moon she was born on. she moves with a steadied grace that only a deadly woman can master and has the whipcord strength of body from days working in the bamboo fields alongside her father, but all the delicate features of the princess she was born as.
they were left alone when she was a child, when oyaji took her hand and guided her to meat stalls and cloth sellers and bought sparkly combs for her to wear in her hair. but kaguya is a child no longer. she is a young woman, and tales of her beauty spread far and wide. just as when she was a child and princes from far off stars came to court her, now princes come from far off lands. as a child she stepped on their feet, and as a woman she wishes to take her shiny blades and cut them from navel to neck. but she is not a princess here, she is the poor daughter of a poor bamboo cutter, and must act accordingly. she can’t go slicing up arrogant suitors who believe they are entitled to her, no matter how much she would like to.
the most persistent are five princes from lands far from here. she requests a betrothal gift from each of them, and says she will marry the first to return.
from the first prince, she requests the stone begging bowl of buddha.
from the second prince, she requests a jeweled branch from horai.
from the third prince, she requests a fire-rat robe.
from the fourth prince, she requests a cowry shell born of swallows.
from the fifth prince, she requests a colored jewel from a dragon’s neck.
off they go to fulfill her impossible requests, and kaguya rests easy knowing that they will not return, or if they do they will return empty handed.
hands up if you agree that being in a rut is the worst
feeling ever. it just sucks to be in a rut, wanting to do things but
just cannot get yourself to do them. but don’t you worry
friend; I got you.
step one : acceptance
first thing you got to do is accept that you’re
in rut. you’re in a rut but you want to change that, right? let’s begin!
step two : figure out why you are in that rut
here are some general reasons and solutions for you being in a rut :
1/ you have had a couple of rough days because of some issues say relationship and family issues -
solution :call up on a close friend and take a day off with him/her. you
might also want to talk it out with that person because talking helps; i promise.
2/ you are stressed about upcoming deadlines be it exams or assignments -
solution : study for the exam or work on that assignmentnow, yes now. after you’re done, take a day off to do your favorite thing,
whether it is shopping, or going out with friends, do it; you deserve it
3/ you’re burned out, stressed and/or tired -
solution : take few days off. you won’t be able to focus at all, and
taking rest will do wonders. you might also want to de-stress (by yours
truly) and do some self care (by @stuydies)
4/ you are dreading a event in the near future -
solution : yo fam, stop worrying now. you have no control on that event
whatsoever and it won’t help stressing about it. what will come, will
come and when it comes all i want you to do is embrace it.
step three : getting back to reality
now that you’re done resting, its time to get
back in track with your work and something you want to do when you’re in
a rut is to go baby steps.
here’s some things you can do to get into
that ‘get-shit-done’’ mood -
clean your room; vacuum it, dust those curtains and fluff up those pillows.
go for a long walk or a run to get your blood pumping
dance to some music with fast beats
write down the things you got to do
break all those above tasks into really really tiny tasks (say,
a - write down the topic, b - find the first point to write about and
then just say “she believed she could and so she did” and just dive right in, you got this!
step four : those laid back days
these are so essential, I swear. this is especially important when its
just been days with you getting out of a rut.
you can, for example, work
for one day and you take the next day off. after a few days of this,
you can change it a bit say, you work for two days then take the third
day off and so on. most importantly, don’t hurry yourself. go slow and
be patient, you’re going to do great things lovely.
and that’s it, it’s a wrap! if you’re in a rut - trust me,
you’ll get out of it soon enough. I hope this helped you in some way,
remember to stay wonderful love! :’) x
you have any questions regarding anything I said up there, feel free to
send in a message!
go check out my other masterposts here and you can always send in a request
is always open!!