Japanese Fairytale: The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter (Taketori Monogatari) / Princess Kaguya
At the Japanese school I teach at (in Prague), we had a group of students perform a skit of the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter in English.
There are four roles (Narrator, Princess Kaguya, the old man, and the old lady). However, you could have several people (e.g. 3) do the role of the narrator, since the narrator has many lines.
For Japanese students, I'd say the difficulty of this fairytale about Grade 5/6 English level.
Here is the bamboo cutter fairytale script: (Download: Bamboo-Princess-Kaguya-Hime.doc)
Japanese Fairytale: The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter
Narrator: A long, long time ago, deep in a bamboo forest there live an old man and his wife. They earned money by cutting bamboo and making baskets from it. They worked very hard but were very poor…… And they had No children.
Narrator: One day, the old man went to the bamboo forest as usual. There he found a shining bamboo!?
Old man: OH…that bamboo is shining!!! How curious! I'll try to cut it!
Narrator: When the old man cut the bamboo, he was really surprised! He found a lovely little girl inside!?
Old man: OH, How pretty!
Narrator: The old man took her home. He and his wife raised her as their own daughter. They loved her very much and named her “Kaguya Hime” – Shining Princess.
Narrator: Ever since Kaguya Hime came to their home, they experienced many miracles! Every time the old man went to the forest, he found a shining bamboo with Gold inside. The old man and his wife became very rich.
Narrator: Day by day,this young girl grew and grew to become a very beautiful young lady.
Old lady: You are so beautiful! Everyone is talking about you!
Old man: A lot of rich and noble people came to propose ` to you. Whom are you going to marry??
Kaguya Hime: I don't wish to marry anyone! I'll never marry! I want to be with you Mom and Dad. I will never leave your side.
Old man: But some people will never give-up. Choose one of them as your husband.
Narrator: The old man wanted Kaguya Hime to be with them but it was difficult to ignore all the proposals.
Kaguya Hime: I'll marry the man who brings me the treasure that I want!
Old man: O.K. I'll tell them what you want.
Narrator: The old man carried this message to the men of courtship. They went out to find the treasures.
Narrator: One of them made an IMITATION!!
Narrator: One of them sailed a stormy sea!!
Narrator: One of them climbed up high and then fell down to the ground… But no one could bring the right treasure….Because what Kaguya Hime ordered didn't exist on this earth. It was impossible to find it.
Narrator: A few months later, every night whenever she saw the moon. She began to weep and cry.
Old lady: Are you OK?
Old man: What makes you so sad? What's the matter?
Kaguya Hime: Dad, Mom I'm all right. Please, listen to me. To tell the truth, I was born on the moon! I must go back during the night of full moon. Messengers from the moon will come to meet me.
Old man: That's nonsense!!! I can't believe it!!!
Narrator: Full moon will happen soon! The father hired strong soldiers to guard her. He never wanted her returning to the moon!
Narrator: The night has come! The moon came up over the mountain and then a gold light flashed! Many soldiers couldn't move because of the powerful and mysterious light! Everyone fell asleep!!
Kaguya Hime: Father, Mother – Thank You very much! I have to go now. I will never forget you!
Narrator: Kaguya Hime flew slowly up into the sky. Nothing could stop her!
Old man/Old lady: Kaguya Hime don't go!
Kaguya Hime: Thank you for everything!
Narrators: Kaguya Hime disappeared and went back to the moon!