The Story of Aoyagi is an ancient folk tale taking place in 15th century Japan. It has popular appeal on several levels.
First, the hero of the tale, Hatakeyama Yoshimune is given an incredible amount of biographical information, making him a nearly touchable historic figure. We are told of his position, his home town, his devotion to his parents, and his samurai valour.
Second, this is an animistic tale which demands reverence for Nature. Here, Japan's highly utilitarian bamboo is the source for something both beautiful and wonderful. The tragic end of the story involves human consumption/destruction of this god-given plant.
After reading this, give intentional consideration to the possible intent of this 600 year old tale. Ponder the meaning of this sad and wonderful tale.