HOMEJapanese Fairy Tale Series (「日本昔噺」シリーズ) > 『桃太郎』(Momotaro)
Momotaro or Little Peachling

English ed. by D. Thompson 1886(Meiji 19) 
Catalogue No. 3


English ed. by Mrs. T.H. James 1932(Showa 7)
Catalogue No. 41
French ed. 1886(Meiji 19)Catalogue No. 105


German ed. 1889(Meiji 22) Catalogue No. 127


Portuguese ed. 1915(Taisho 4) Catalogue No. 141


Spanish ed. 1914(Taisho 3) Catalogue No. 149



The Story of Momotaro 『桃太郎』
Matsumuro Yachizo Version 1900(Meiji 33)
Catalogue No. 183

訳者:デビッド・タムソン(Translator : David Thompson)
絵師:小林永濯(Illustrator : Eitaku Kobayashi)
■ あらすじ 
 日本五大昔噺の一つ。明治時代に国定教科書にも取り上げられたことから比較的安定した形で現在に伝えられているが、筋に若干の異なりを見せている。長谷川刊行の英訳にあたりD.タムソンは「鬼」を“devil” と表現し、ジェイムズ夫人は“ogre”としているものの、筋は同じで小林永濯<えいたく>の多彩な挿絵が見られる。松室八千三<まつむろやちぞう>刊行版は挿絵が殆どなく代わりに話が詳細であり、絵師の名も記されていない。
Outline of this story
 Once upon a time, an old woman was washing clothes in a stream when a peach came tumbling along. She plucked the peach out of the water and took it home. She was going to eat it with her husband, but when she sliced it open, out popped a boy. The couple named the boy "Momotaro," meaning "Little Peachling," and took good care of him. The boy grew up to be a strapping young man. He determined to cross over to the Island of Devils and take their riches. The old couple made him some millet dumplings, and then Momotaro set off to conquer the devils. On the way, he met a dog, a monkey, and a pheasant, and all three joined him after he gave them some of the very best Japanese millet dumplings. With their help, he vanquished the devils and came back to the old couple with the riches in hand.
 This is supposed to be one of the five best-loved Japanese fairy tales. It has been transmitted to the present in a comparatively set form because it was included in a school textbook edited and authorized by the government in the Meiji period. The plot, however, shows some variation. D. Thompson, who translated the Hasegawa edition, rendered "oni" as "devil," while Mrs. T.H. James chose "ogre" instead. Nevertheless, the plot is the same, and both editions contain many illustrations by Eitaku Kobayashi. The version published by Yachizo Matsumuro has very few illustrations but presents a more detailed story. It does not credit any illustrator.