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A free exhibition of 15 paintings by Izumi Osawa illustrating a translation by Akio Haga of “Taketori Monogatari (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter)” into both modern Japanese and Hindi will be held 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Nov. 24-29, at Gallery Takiyama in Tokyo’s Ginza.

Described in the 11th-century “Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji)” as the first-ever Japanese romance story, “Taketori Monogatari” — which predates “Genji” by more than a century — tells the tale of a baby girl, found in the hollow of a bamboo shoot by an old bamboo cutter and taken home to be raised by him and his wife, who name her Kaguyahime (Shining Princess).

When she grows up, the princess, who is actually a celestial being, rejects a stream of aristocratic suitors, including the emperor himself, eventually returning to the Palace of the Moon.

Haga said the story of the old bamboo cutter prospering in his work after taking in the baby resonates well with contemporary concerns over man’s coexistence with the natural world.

His Hindi translation, he said, is his first effort to extend the tale’s readership to other Asian countries, and he plans Farsi, Arabic and Malay versions to follow.

Both the Japanese and Hindi versions will be published by Haga Enterprises Co. (hagaa@rio.odn.ne.jp) Nov. 22.

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