Once upon a time, there was an old couple living in a very country side of Japan. One day, Oji-san (means an old guys in Japanese) went to mountains to cut trees, and Oba-san (means an old woman in Japanese) went to river to wash their clothing. While she was washing clothes, she saw a big peach floating in the river. Oba-san has never seen such a huge peach in her life. Oba-san and oji-san were very poor, so she decided to take a peach to the house. (Pause, Fumi tries to remember the next sentence) Later that day, Oji-san comes home and they decided to eat the peach together. He brought cutting knife and when he cut the peach, there was a baby inside of the peach. As soon as they saw a baby, a baby started crying loud, the old couple had never had a child, therefore they decided to take care of him. Oji-san and oba-san were very happy about that they had baby and named him Momo-taro because he was born from momo (means Peach in Japanese).
(Pause for 3 secs)
Times pasts and Momotaro was grown up and started helping oji-san and oba-san’s job. Also there were no young people in the village, Momotaro went to other houses to help older people. The he became a very brave and trusted young man.
(Pause for 5 secs)
One day, oji-san and oba-san heard the rumor that Oni (an evil monster) frequently comes to the village and take everyone’s possession. Two are scared of Oni and talk to Momotaro what they should do. Momotaro bravely replied to them, saying “I will beat them and take everyone’s possession back” Momotaro started packing and decided to go to Oni-gashima where oni is. (Oni-gashima means evil monster island)
On the day of departure, oba-san gave Momotaro three rice cakes so that he won’t be hungry on the way to Onigashima. Momotaro thanked them that they looked after him and left his home. While they were seeing their son leaving, there were tears coming down on their eyes.
As Momotaro travels, a dog comes to him and asks him “Would you give me your rice cake? If you give me one, I will go with you to defeat Oni” A kind Momotaro gave his rice cake to the dog, and they travel to Oni-gashima.
As Momotaro and the dog walk, a monkey comes to him and said “hey if you give me your rice cake, I can help you to defeat Oni” He gave the monkey a rice cake and the monkey becomes Momotaro’s servant.
Momotaro, the dog, and monkey were travelling to Oni-gashima, and a Japanese pheasant flies to him and ask him for a rice cake. Momotaro gave the last one to the Japanese peasant, and four of them went to Oni-gashima together. As they arrived at Oni-gashima, they conquered all Oni monsters on the island and took back people’s possession to the village. Village people gave him rewards for defeating Oni and Momotaro, Oji-san, and Oba-san lived happily ever after.
A story is Momotaro is the most common folklore in Japan. Almost every Japanese have been told this folklore when they were young. Momotaro is a role model of all Japanese children who should be like when they grow up. Through this story, children in Japan learns to be kind to elders, and animal as well as to be brave when they face problems. It is unknown Momotaro is born from the peach but in Japanese folklore there is another story called “Kaguya Hime” that a girl is born from bamboo when an old couple cuts it. But both peach and bamboo are local plants in japan.
Annotation of this story: http://www.amazon.com/Momotaro-George-Suyeoka/dp/089610009X