Momotaro (“Momotaro” the Peach Boy) ももたろう

1970s or earlier

Text :  Tadashi Matsui  松居直 

Illustration : Suekichi Akaba 赤羽末吉

Published : 1965 

Personal recommendation : 3-5 years old

Well, this is probably the most famous folklore in Japan for the past centuries and I probably don’t need to talk a lot about the details here. But this time I just would like to share some tips about reading/picking this Momotaro book.

Yet, first, to those who don’t know about this Momotaro story, I would like to give short summary of this storyline. 

  • Once upon a time, there was a very old couple in the mountain. The gradma went to the river to wash the clothes and found the gigantic peach rafting from the upper side of river. 
  • She brought the peach back home to share with her husband and as she was about to cut the peach, the boy came out from the peach. The couple named this boy “Peach Boy”=Momotaro
  • As this boy has grown up and became young solider (SAMURAI), there were several reports that demons in the town bothering the resident, stealing valuables etc. Once day, the princess in that kingdom was kidnapped. 
  • The Peach Boy felt he had enough and decided to go on adventure to sweep the demons. Though the old couple were worried, they decided to see him off by letting him bring the hand-made Mochi (rice-cake) balls to eat during journey.
  • On the way, Peach Boy bumped into several animals like dog, monkey followed by pheasant.  They all asked about the what those balls are and Peach Boy made a deal with each of them that he can let each one have this rice-cake ball if they come join him for Demon sweep and deals were made.
  • As they reached to Demon’s Island, Momotaro’s army did great job cooperating. Monkey (with his swift move) opened the gate, pheasant attacking from sky, dog biting demon’s legs etc.   
  • Finally, all the demons surrendered and decided to return the valuables as well as princess back home.   Princess later married to Peach boy and they lived happily ever after.

Well, that was basic story line.  Since it is well known-story, there are so many books/editions available and I just happened to pick this book since it was published in 1965 and thought it would be more “Authentic” and better story to read for my kids.  I was part of right as this edition has lots of details which I would not know or I would simply forget. (Note : All the Japanese remembers basic story line but don’t necessarily remembers all the trivial details)   That part, it was great.  However, since it was published more than 50 years ago, there were some expressions in text that we don’t use it any more or difficult to understand even for adults. Thus, I had to guess such expressions and had to rephrase it to more modern expression for my kids while reading.  Therefore, I would suggest 

  • If you are looking for more authentic Momotaro the peach boy story, go with this edition.
  • If the readers need to simply understand and enjoy the story, you may want to go with some other eiditons’ Momotaro books available (which has been, say, published in last two decades or something for example) 

Nonetheless, knowing this Momotaro story is MUST for Japanese Children’s book field and I would like you to try sometimes.

You can purchase this book here. 広告はこちら

[商品価格に関しましては、リンクが作成された時点と現時点で情報が変更されている場合がございます。]

ももたろう (日本傑作絵本シリーズ) [ 松居直 ]
価格:1210円(税込、送料無料) (2021/11/6時点)


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