The tale of the Bamboo cutter / Taketori monogatari 竹取物語


The tale of the Bamboo Cutter is said to be one of the oldest traditional Japanese tales. His first surviving written version dates back to the beginning of the Heian era, during the 9th century, considered as the golden age of imperial Japanese culture. The tale relates how the radiant princess Kaguya Hime, raised by a poor bamboo cutter, escapes the wooing of the Emperor before elucidating the mystery of her origins.

Inspired by two great principles of Japanese aesthetics crystallized during the Heian era, like the yugen (deep sensitivity to the unspeakable mystery of the Universe) and the mono no aware (melancholy before the impermanence of things), David Balade created a series of 15 illustrations of this tale, using the technique of japanese watercolors mizu enogu, as well as gouaches and pastels on paper.

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