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Folk Legends



The old woman waited for her husband to come home before eating the peach. When he had arrived, she took out a knife and plunged into the juicy peach, exclaiming, "What a tasty treat!" At that very moment, the peach split in two and with a loud wail out sprang a sweet boy. At first the couple was startled; then overjoyed at having been blessed with a child. They called him Momotaro (momo means peach; Taro is a common Japanese boys' name) and brought him up with tender loving care.

Momotaro grew up strong, powerful, and kind. In no time at all he had become the strongest in the village. One day Momotaro heard about the ogres on Onigashima (Ogres' Island) who spread fear among his countrymen. He begged the old man and woman to allow him go to Onigashima to drive away the ogres. At first they were surprised and worried but Momotaro insisted so earnestly that they finally gave in to his plea. They prepared some millet dumplings for Momotaro to eat on his journey and saw him off.