The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter
Add to Collection
Tools Used


A series of illustrations for a Japanese folktale called, The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter
Title: The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter
     This is a cover for the story. Since the old bamboo cutter found her, he had found gold and silver inside of bamboos everytime he cut. They became very rich and prospered.
     I illustrate their house very big and almost like a traditional palace. The moon is symbolic statement through the story, and placed her looking at the moon to imply a relationship between them. I enjoyed the pattern making on her kimono outfit. Kimono's pattern itself becomes a story teller.
Title: The Five Princes
     In the story, after the girl became such a beautiful woman, five princes heard the story of how beautiful she is. They visited her house, and asked her foster father (the old bamboo cutter) to a permission of marriage. The bamboo cutter gave them five different tasks, and promised his permission if one of them passed the task. Here are items; a jewelry of a dragon's neck, a jeweled branch of a tree in a floating island in a sky, a set of five bowls of Buddha, a skin of a Chinese fire rat, and a cowrie which was born from a sparrow. At the end, non of them could pass. 
     I wanted to have claustrophobic heaviness on this illustration. It's just because these five princes were given impossible missions and struggled to get the items from dangerous creatures and environments. Compositionally speaking, I put five struggled princes in the center, and let them surrounded by their struggles, fears, and impossilities.
Title: The Goddess with Moonlight Patterns
     On the night of a full moon, the sky became bright like daytime. A march of moon people came to the house. The old bamboo cutter and his wife cried and tried to stop them from taking her; however, they couldn't do anything because of moon people's gracious light. 
     In my imagination, the moon people are huge and angelic figure. They are not aggressive or scary, but majestic and strong. I really paid attention for not making this angelic figure monster-like or ghost-like. I enjoyed the pattern making again. It's very important role of having Japanese aesthetic. 
Title: The Highest Rapture
     The princess was crying and trying not to leave her foster parents; however, she thanked them for the time she spent with them. Her skin, hair, eyes suddenly started shining like other moon people when one of them put their scarf on her, and she forgot everything what happened on her during her stay on the earth. She joined the march and went back to the moon.
     I really spent time on the composition. I wanted to capture the moment when the scarf was placed on her neck which made her forget every precious moments with her foster parents and become a ture form of herself, a moon princess. I enjoyed the color contrast between the wooden floor of cold palette and other elements of warm palette. The focal point is still her face/figure, so I didn't want to let complicated pattern take over the focus; however, it made a framing effect.
So hope y'all enjoy what I did as much as I enjoyed illustrating this series. I'm Japanese, and it's always good to have some works that aesthetically shows your cultural background. This creative process was also one of my breakthroughs in my artistic life, and I do enjoyed what I've gotten. Don't worry, I still use oil pastel and still love them! Anyway, let me know what you think! I always appreciate your comments and wonderful community I have on here!
Also follow me on...