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Momotaro: Storytelling the Peach Boy


紙芝居 Kamishibai.

A classic story of Kamishibai is Momotaro, the Peach Boy, that goes back at least to Edo Japan. The gods bestow kindness upon an aging couple by sending them a giant peach. When they cut it open they find the greater gift of a beautiful boy who they name Taro. With their loving guidance he grows up to be a kind and good man. There is a devil who has been terrorizing the villagers and Taro determines to fight him to stop his wickedness.

He adventures to the island of the devils with three allies--dog, monkey, and pheasant, each follower representing an important value: loyalty, wisdom, and courage. They join forces and together defeat the devils and recover the treasures that had been stolen. They return home to a glorious celebration and the old couple is overjoyed at Momotaro's safe return. It's a story of great bravery, loyalty, and filial piety.

Momotarō was a popular figure in Japan during World War II, appearing in many wartime films and cartoons--Momotarō represented the Japan and the U.S. was symbolized by the devil.


Do you remember Momotaro?

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