The Story of Momotarō
Today, I learned about the story of Momotaro, a popular hero in Japanese folklore. Here’s the legend of Momotaro:
Once upon a time, a woman was washing laundry in the river when she saw a giant peach floating toward her. She brought it back to her husband, and when they opened it, they discovered a child, who explained being sent from Heaven to become their son. They named him Momotarô 桃太郎 (momo meaning “peach” and Tarô being a very common name for firstborn sons in Japan).
Growing up, Momotaro became very strong, but also very lazy, and spent his days sleeping. One day, he heard that demons were living on Onigashima Island (鬼ヶ島). The villagers urged him to go fight the demons. On the way to the battle, Momotaro met and befriended three animals, a dog, a monkey 🐒 and a pheasant, that could speak human language. The group of four arrived in Onigashima where they defeated the demons.Momotaro and his friends came back to the village after the capture of the demons’ boss, with its treasures and a large quantity of food. They then lived together happily and rich ever after.