Legends

Momotaro

Folklore:  

This is a Japanese story called Momotaro which translates to “peach” or “first son”. One day a grandma and grandpa find a giant peach in the river, they take the peach home to have for dinner. When they cut open the peach a baby boy comes out of it and they are overjoyed because they have always wanted children. The boy grows up to be very strong and one day goes off to fight the demonic ogres. On his way he meets a talking dog, a monkey and a bird who decide to help him fight the ogres. They all go to the island where the ogres reside and attack the ogres. When they defeat the demonic ogres they return home as heros and with many treasures taken from the ogres.

Background & Context:

This story was told to me in a casual interview style in the evening on a weekday. It was told to me by a Japanese American USC freshman, who has grown up in Honolulu, Hawaii but has visited Japan several times. This student has grown up listening to these stories as bedtime stories or just for entertainment. These stories were told by her parent or grandparents who reside with her family.

Final Thoughts:

My thoughts on this story is that it seems to be a popular piece of folklore as I have heard different variations of this story before. The moral of this story is what goes around come around because the old couple happily raised this little boy who eventually helped them in turn by defeating the demonic ogres and bringing back riches.

Annotation:

Another place you can find this piece of folklore is in the children’s book Peach Boy: A Japanese Legend by Gail Sakurai.

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