A married couple of poor farmers has lost their only child, recently passed away. The woman Tayoshime (Ayako Wakaso) cries out loud to heaven. The father Taketori-no-Miyatsuko (Toshirô Mifune), goes into the forests and sees a strange-kind of electric storm. He finds, in the centre of the burnt land, a strange blue coccoon. It opens up and a small child, with piercingly blue eyes, appears.He takes the child (Miho Nakano) home, and his wife says it's their dead child, Kaya, and she names the new child Kaya as well. This new Kaya (Yasuko Sawaguchi) grows up faster than what humans usually do. She also has a diamond, a kind of star which sometimes speaks to her or shines. Kaya becomes a ravishing beauty, and is kept hidden at her home. Her parents are lucky at harvests, and they become wealthy, although they live still isolated in the countryside. However, she finds a female friend- and through diverse circumstances, Kaya meets three men, and each one of them falls in love with her: 1- Otomo-no-Dainagon or Minister of the Military (Kiichi Nakai), 2- Kuramochi-no-Miko or Minister of Culture (Koasa Shunputei) 3- Abe-no-Udaijin or Minister of Finance (Takatoshi Takeda). They insist on marrying her. Her parents are confused, because they think they cannot make her daughter marry in the traditional way, with an arranged marriage. As Kaya is not human, she can't be happy the human way. So they let her choose. However, she can't choose, and asks each possible suitor to give her a legendary thing. The ministers go away in pursuit of the three objects, leaving their ministerial obligations aside, and without asking the emperor permission to leave. That annoys the Emperor, who demands to see that Shining Princess (Princess Kaguya), as Kaya is now nicknamed, with a view to marry her as well. However, she refuses to see him, while she waits for the return of the three men.The Empress tells the Emperor to let her be, while the emperor's soldiers investigate Kaya and her family.Two of the ministers arrive back. They provide their objects to the emperor, but he discovers that they are false. One of them burns fast, when it was supposed to be not-flammable. The ministers had not got their gifts for Kaya, they had purchased them in the black market, so they are cheated and the tokens of love are fake. However, the third of the ministers arrives with the dragon token.This was what Kaya wanted from the beginning.However, Kaya is not happy. Her jewel shone and told her that she was from the Moon. Her spaceship had had an accident, and she was the only surviving passenger. Now she must return to her country. The winner minister tells her that he would live with her in the moon, but she tells him that he won't be able to breathe in her country. Kaya feels desperate, but she can't do anything. Her parents feel that she's being ungrateful, because they have provided for all her needs during all those years, and treated her as their true child.The emperor hears all about this: next full moon Kaya is going to be taken home. He issues a night curfew, and asks his soldiers to kill anyone or anything appearing at night around Kaya's home. However, that night, a huge spaceship arrives. It abducts Kaya, and neither her parents nor her lover can do anything to prevent it.