The rumors of Kaguya-hime's beauty reached the Emperor himself, and he requested that she come to his court; but she refused, saying she would die if taken there. Undaunted, he organized a hunting trip near her home, and slipped away from it to her house unexpectedly. In this way, he became the first man beyond family friends to see her. She was as beautiful as the tales said.
Though she still refused to return with him, she answered his letters, and the two wrote to each other for many years.
One new year, Kaguya-hime began to spend long nights staring at the moon, lost in thought. Around the eighth month, her parents found her out on the veranda, weeping bitterly. She confessed to them:
"I'm not a person of this world. I come from the moon country. But because of a promise made long ago, I have spent this time in the human world. The time has come when I have to return-- on the 15th of this month, people will come from my country to get me. I have to go back, so since this spring I have been worrying that you will be sad."
Kaguya-hime had grown more attached to her parents on the Earth then on the moon, and dearly wished that she did not have to return. Though she thought it was futile, the old man contacted the emperor, and asked that on the 15th he send men to defend her from the emissaries of the moon country.
When the day came, two thousand men with bows and arrows came to the bamboo cutter's house. A thousand manned the outer wall, and a thousand were on the roof. Kaguya-hime was put in a locked cabinet, the old man standing in front, and his wife inside with her arms wrapped around Kaguya-hime.
At midnight, people riding on clouds descended from the sky, dressed with a beauty unlike everything else. The soldiers were overcome with awe and dropped their bows. The moon people went inside the house, and as they demanded Kaguya-hime come out, the doors of her hiding place unlocked and opened themselves. They told her to drink the medicine of immortality and put on the heavenly feather robe, thus cleansing herself of this impure world.
"Please wait! When I put on the robe my heart will become different from the hearts of men of this world. There is something I want to say first."
She wrote sad notes of apology to her parents and to the Emperor, then gave her parents her own robe as a memento. She then took a small taste of the medicine, attached it to her letter to the Emperor, and gave it to a guard officer. As she handed it to him, the feather robe was placed on her shoulders, and all of her sadness and compassion for the people of the Earth were forgotten.
Having forgotten everything, she got into the flying carriage they had brought, and ascended into the sky with her escort of heavenly beings.
The parents became very sad and were soon put to bed sick. The guard officer returned to the Emperor with the items Kaguya-hime had given him as her last mortal act, and reported what had happened. With no desire to live forever, he commanded his men to take the letter attached with medicine to the top of the mountain closest to heaven , and then burn it with the hope that his message would reach the now distant princess.
This mountain was called Fuji. It is said that even now the smoke continues to climb up to the clouds above it.