“O” Challenge: Okayama Fairytale

young and resolute
fighting forces of evil
Japanese fairytale

Okayama Prefecture Japan is located in the south western part of the country and is where some of my ancestors lived.  It is on the island of Honshu and located between the Seto Inland Sea to the south and the Chugoku Mountains to the north.  It’s nickname is “The Land of Sunshine” because the number of days with rainfall less than 1 millimeter is the highest in Japan.  The capital is Okayama city.

Rather than tell you much more about Okayama Prefecture, I thought I would do something different and introduce you to a popular and delightful Japanese fairytale strongly associated with Okayama, named “Momotaro” or “Peach Boy.”  Peaches, and other fruits, are famous products of Okayama, and a Momotaro Festival is held there annually.  The capital, Okayama City (population of over 700,000), named its main street Momotarō-Odōri in the Peach Boy’s honor, and you’ll find statues from the tale along the way.  I don’t have a photo to post, so I created the above doodle instead to represent the story.

“In the old days, the peach was a symbol of long life and was also believed to be effective in warding off devils.”  (japanese.about.com)

I remember hearing the story of Momotaro when I was a little girl, and I have a version of the story that is in both English and Japanese.  Here is a summary of the fairytale taken from Wikitravel:

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