A poor bamboo cutter and his wife lost their pretty young daughter, Kaya. While they were grieving, they saw a strange light in the forest, so the bamboo cutter went to investigate. Next to Kaya's grave, he found a pod which cracked open to reveal a baby girl who grows up to resemble Kaya. The couple adopt the girl.
Kaya grows up abnormally quickly to become a very beautiful woman, who captures the heart of all men. Eventually, three noblemen from the Emperor's court propose to her. To test their sincerity, Kaya sets each of them an impossible task, but only one honestly attempts to accomplish it.
When Kaya has finally found happiness, it is revealed that her origins are from the moon, where she is due to return.
The story is set in the year 796AD i.e. the Heian era (circa 794AD to 1185AD). Nevertheless, the costumes and kimono are still very beautiful. The style they are wearing is called "juni hitoe", literally meaning "twelve layers". It was the typical fashion in the Imperial court of the Heian era.
The movie is alright, but true to old science fiction, it is really really corny. I absolutely hate how lame the ending is, but otherwise, it is quite a nice movie to watch, if only for the kimono.
The family. Kaya is in pink:
Mother and daughter:
Kaya and her friend Akeno:
Mother and daughter, goodbye:
Before the emperor:
The Empress (in purple) and her court ladies: