Sway Stories: Momotarō (桃太郎)

Japan's folklore is little-known outside of the country, yet there are some fascinating and quirky stories to rival the most well-known tales.  Read on to learn a little bit about Momotarō (桃太郎), or "Peach Boy", as we kick off our new series on famous Japanese folk tales and myths...

The Adventures of Momotarō


Born out of a giant peach that was found floating down a river by an elderly woman, a young boy was discovered when the woman and her husband began to cut and eat the peach.  The boy informed the childless couple that the Gods had chosen to bestow him upon them, to raise as their own.  He was named Momotarō, from momo (peach) and tarō (eldest son).

During his adolescence Momotarō left home to find and fight a group of oni (demons and ogres) on an island, as they had been roaming and raiding the land.  On his journeys, Momotarō befriended a talking dog, monkey and pheasant, who joined him in his quest in exchange for kibi dango (millet dumplings).  Upon reaching the island, Momotarō and his new friends fought the demons into surrender, and they returned home with new treasure and a demon chief to hold captive!

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