Magic
Tales /märchen

Momotaru

Main Piece: “So there was an old woman who would go to a riverside in Japan to wash clothes. One day she found a sweet peach and wanted to take one home for her husband so he would be happy. Then  the peach just magically appeared next to the woman and the woman took it to her house. When she tried to cut the peach in half, a human boy just came out out of nowhere. They called the boy Momotaro (which means the peach boy). Momotaro grew super fast and became huge like a man. He helped the old couple with house chores. But then there were some evil devils bothering the villagers and Momotaro decided to fight against the devils on the devils’ island to repay the old couple.  He told the old woman that if she made special dumplings for him he would beat the devils because he needed fuel. So, the woman made special dumplings that can give a human being something of like 100 times their power. When he got to the island he beat a huge devil. Momotaro then gave the treasure that the devils had secretly equally to all the villagers”

Background Information: The informant learned this story through her parents who grew up in Tokyo, Japan. The main message behind this story is to always give back and be humble (for example, the peach boy giving back to the villagers after his parents had given him dumplings). The informant says that this is a very common folk story in Japan which parents tell their children.

Context: Next to a grocery store in Los Angeles

Thoughts: Peaches are significant in Japanese culture as being “Kami”, or the Mother goddess which is a symbol of fertility and magic powers. Peaches are in many other different Japan mythology and are said to have magical powers. This story seems to have a symbolic importance with the peach as good luck and not just a morally important lesson.

 

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