Momotaro | Peach Boy | an iconic Japanese folk song | the lyrics, story and music

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Momotaro is an iconic Japanese folk song that my father and my grandmother can sing to this day.

I grew up in Taiwan where Japanese culture became prevalent after the Chinese Chin dynasty lost the the first Sino-Japanese war in 1895 and ceded Taiwan islands to Japan. As a result, Japan had ruled Taiwan for fifty years until the new, modern China won the World War Two in 1945.

Under this historical background, many elder people in Taiwan are fluent in Japanese and still remember the Japanese folk song Momotaro they learned to sing as a kid. This helps us understand how and why Japanese culture has been prevalent and popular in Taiwan. I have known the song Momotaro since I was a kid too, although I may not be very familiar with the lyrics, which are in Japanese and have not been translated into a Chinese version in known publications.

Having living in Canada for more than twenty years, I observe and wonder why that numerous western folk songs have been adapted into eastern languages but rarely the other way round.

To talk about and sing the Japanese folk song, I will need to introduce the original Japanese language lyrics.

The lyrics and the story of Momotaro, the Peach Boy

The Peach Boy (Image from Japanese Fairy book, public domain, published in 1908)
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