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Momotaro

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JREF

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Momotaro

Momotarō (桃太郎, "Peach Boy") is a popular folktale recounting the adventures of a boy born from a peach found by an elderly woman washing clothes on a riverbank. When she and her husband try to eat the peach, they discover Momotarō who claims to be sent from heaven to be their son. He is adopted by the couple. Maturing quickly, he soon leaves the couple together to fight off a band of ogres (鬼 oni). On his way to their island he meets a dog, a pheasant, and a monkey who join him. Conquering Ogre Island (鬼ヶ島 Onigashima), Momotarō returns home with treasures for his foster parents.

Suzuki Harunobu (鈴木 春信; c. 1725-1770): ukiyo-e depicting Momotarō returning with treasures after slaying the demons on Onigashima.

The tale exists in various version and became widely popular in its present form in the Edo Era (1600-1868) through a genre of literature called kusazōshi (草双紙). Similar...
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