Momotarou 桃太郎
KEY WORD : art history / paintings
Lit. Peach Boy. Hero of one of Japan's best-loved tales. A tiny boy discovered inside a large peach soon grows into a strong lad and leaves home to conquer Demon's Island, Onigashima 鬼ヶ島. With the help of three talking animals, a dog, monkey, and pheasant, he defeats the marauding ogres and returns home laden with treasures. The earliest known illustrations are woodcuts from the early 18c, but this soon became a popular theme for illustrators and painters. Momotarou is usually shown as a young boy wearing a headband and jinbaori 陣羽織 (a coat worn over armor) and accompanied by the three animal companions; often he holds a small dumpling, kibidango きびだんご, and a banner.


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