Take kireba

A haiku by Akutagawa Ryunosuke 芥川竜之介, 1919:

take kireba/ samuki asahi ya/ take no naka
Cut the bamboo:/ a cold dawn sun/ inside the bamboo

From the Tale of the bamboo-cutter (Donald Keene's translation):

Many years ago there lived a man they called the Old Bamboo Cutter. Every day he would make his way into the fields and mountains to gather bamboo which he fashioned into all manner of wares. His name was Sanuki no Miyatsuko. One day he noticed among the bamboos a stalk that glowed at the base. He thought this was very strange, and going over to have a look, saw that a light was shining inside the hollow stem. He examined it, and there he found a most lovely little girl about three inches tall.

(Note that she's actually from the moon, not the sun.)

Popularity factor: 3

Leonardo Boiko:

I am told she was supposed to literally shine, thus Kaguya-hime (as in kagayaku “to shine”). So she’s like a small cold sun found in the morning? (I assume Kaguya-hime emits light by bioluminescence, producing only small quantities of thermal radiation.)

Speaking of Taketori, I very much like this 272-page dissertation on it (did I link to it earlier? excuse me if I did.) Note 25 on p. 155 traces the argument that she was radiating (as in the bright moon, not just as in Hikaru Genji) to Tanaka Ôhide’s Edo-period “Taketori Monogatari Kai”.

Leonardo Boiko:

Er, make that p. 149—my PDF reader counts it as 155. Also, it’s 『竹取翁物語解』 “Taketori no Okina no Monogatari Kai”.

L.N. Hammer:

The more I look at it, the more I like that. Especially the <i>samuki</i>, considering Kaguya-hime's immortal behavior. She shone out of darkness like a dawning sun, but not with any human warmth.


Aime la vérité, mais pardonne à l'erreur

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