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In one of the best-loved of all Japanese folk tales, an elderly childless Japanese couple find a baby inside a large peach floating down the river, whom they name Momotaro ("Peach Boy"). The child grows big and healthy, but terribly lazy, until one day he is finally goaded into going to the forest to collect firewood with the other boys.

Instead of working, he sleeps all day, but when it is time to go home, he pulls up an entire tree and carries it home like a bundle of sticks. Hearing of his prowess, the local lord asks him to go and deal with a group of ogres who are making life miserable for the peasants.

Momotaro sets off, and on the way he meets a dog, a monkey and a pheasant who accompany him. They find the ogres' island and castle, and with the animals' help, he defeats them and forces them to give up their wicked ways. They also give him their treasure, which he takes back to his village and distributes among the people.

The story is available in many children's books in Japanese and other languages.


Dartois, Myriam. "Momotaro". Available at:


Mythological, Traditional and Divine Figures
Birth or Infancy
Others ("Strangers")
Related Topics
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