commentary: 天女の舞 (the heavenly maiden’s dance)

Hiroi Michiaki: And this is, ah—this is the heavenly maiden’s dance.

Mrs. Hiroi:   The heavenly maiden’s dance.

HM:  This is Mt. Fuji, below Mt. Fuji… Umm, at the base of the mountain, there’s a pine forest. It’s also included now in the World Heritage sites. Now, Mt. Fuji and that pine grove… what pine grove was it…

MH:   Some kind of pine forest.

HM:   There, long ago the heavenly maiden came down [from the sky] dancing, and she hung her feather robe in the pines… and a young hunter or someone takes it, and even though the heavenly maiden asked him to return it, he didn’t, I suppose. Somehow or another there are other things [that happen] and many interesting stories there. It’s a top modeled on that [story]. As it turns it looks like the heavenly maiden teetering around [dancing] on top of the mountain.

Janell Landis: Th-That [one], spinning it is hard.

HM:     (laughs) It’s kind of hard, yeah.

MH:   Mmm… it doesn’t spin easily.

JL:        And, um, when you put it on the handle and it, and it stays on, it’s incredible. But I’ve gotten gradually worse at it. And, that, this um, when… ah, that thing like bamboo, you wrap the string around it and put it in the bamboo, and it suddenly it spins. Then you have to, to use your hands to do the top. (claps)

HM:     (laughs)

JL:        Over and over she falls, but when you finally get it spinning [on top], boy it’s wonderful. Sensei, um, I won’t talk anymore after this, but I, that story, um…

Paula Curtis:    You thought it was Kaguya-hime.

JL:        Kaguya-hime. Yeah.

HM:     Ahhh…

JL:        I-I used Kaguya-hime.

HM:     Kaguya-hime.

JL:        When I was gone away. I-I used it in connection with her. Yeah.

HM:     Yeah, it’s a similar story. Was it called the “Heavenly Feather Robe”? Mm.


For Japanese, see this page.

For video, see this page.