Tuesday, June 02, 2009
The folktale behind the "Kibidango" sweets
These are one type of Japanese wagashi called "Kibidango(ki-bi-da-n-go)". Dango literally means dumplings but this "Kibidango" belongs to sweets and each one is wrapped in an illustrated paper and comes in a pretty box full of animated characters of a Japanese ancient folktale, "Momotaro(Peach Boy).
Momotaro is a hero from a Japanese folktale, who fights the evil demons for bringing back the peace in his land. His name "momo" means "peach" and "taro" is a typical name for boys.
Since this story is so well known and loved, it is associated with many ways in movies, books and in almost any way possible. This cute box of sweet dumplings is a good example. One confectionery in Okayama Prefecture took an advantage of its long history that they had been producing wagashi associated with a story of this folktale. They asked GOMI Taro, one of the famous illustrators and writers for children's books to design a package and wrapping papers featuring the characters of this story.
Oh, I like his illustrations so much and still keep many children's books I got for my kids. Now in a picture , can you tell the hero Momotaro, the dog, the monkey, the pheasant, and the devils? They are just so cute!-----even the devils are adorable!
Any children who have grown up in Japan know this story and they love to sing the story of Momotaro.
So here is an adventure story of "Momotaro" and his three followers of the dog, the monkey and the pheasant. (it comes up with a song. If you don't want a sound, turn off a sound before you click a link above.)
Hope you'll enjoy it.