Yei Theodora Ozaki.

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easy thing to subdue an enemy. From now, you three, the
dog, the monkey and the pheasant, must be friends with one
mind. The one who first begins a quarrel will be discharged
on the spot ! "

All the three promised not to quarrel. The pheasant was
now made a member of Momotaro's suite, and received half
a cake.

Momotaro's influence was so great that the three became
good friends, and hurried onwards with him as their leader.

Hurrying on day after day they at last came out upon the
shore of the North-Eastern Sea. There was nothing to be
seen as far as the horizon not a sign of any island. All that
broke the stillness was the rolling of the waves upon the shore.

Now, the dog and the monkey and the pheasant had come
very bravely all the way through the long valleys and over the

256 Japanese Fairy Book.

hills, but they had never seen the sea before, and for the first
time since they set out they were bewildered and gazed at
each other in silence. How were they to cross the water and
get to the Island of Devils ?

Momotaro soon saw that they were daunted by the sight of
the sea, and to try them he spoke loudly and roughly :

" Why do you hesitate ? Are you afraid of the sea ? Oh !
what cowards you are ! It is impossible to take such weak
creatures as you with me to fight the demons. It will be far
better for me to go alone. I discharge you all at once ! "

The three animals were taken aback at this sharp reproof,
and clung to Momotaro's sleeve, begging him not to send
them away.

" Please, Momotaro ! " said the dog.

" We have come thus far ! " said the monkey.

" It is inhuman to leave us here ! " said the pheasant.

" We are not at all afraid of the sea," said the monkey again.

" Please do take us with you," said the pheasant.

11 Do please," said the dog.

They had now gained a little courage, so Momotaro said :

" Well, then, I will take you with me, but be careful ! "

Momotaro now got a small ship, and they all got on board.
The wind and weather were fair, and the ship went like an
arrow over the sea. It was the first time they had ever been
on the water, and so at first the dog, the monkey and the
pheasant were frightened at the waves and the rolling of the
vessel, but by degrees they grew accustomed to the water and
were quite happy again. Every day they paced the deck of
their little ship, eagerly looking out for the demons' island.

Momotaro, or the Story of the Son of a Peach. 257

When they grew tired of this, they told each other stories of
all their exploits of which they were proud, and then played
games together ; and Momotaro found much to amuse him in
listening to the three animals and watching their antics, and in
this way he forgot that the way was long and that he was tired
of the voyage and of doing nothing. He longed to be at
work killing the monsters who had done so much harm in his

As the wind blew in their favour and they met no storms the
ship made a quick voyage, and one day when the sun was shining
brightly a sight of land rewarded the tour watchers at the bow.

Momotaro knew at once that what they saw was the devils'
stronghold. On the top ot the precipitous shore, looking
out to sea, was a large castle. Now that his enterprise
was close at hand, he was deep in thought with his head
leaning on his hands, wondering how he should begin the
attack. His three followers watched him, waiting for orders.
At last he called to the pheasant :

" It is a great advantage for us to have you with us," said
Momotaro to the bird, " for you have good wings. Fly at once
to the castle and engage the demons to fight. We will follow

The pheasant at once obeyed. He flew off from the ship
beating the air gladly with his wings. The bird soon reached
the island and took up his position on the roof in the middle of
the castle, calling out loudly :

" All you devils listen to me ! The great Japanese general
Momotaro has come to fight you and to take your stronghold
from you. If you wish to save your lives surrender at once,
P.B. s

258 Japanese Fairy Book.

and in token of your submission you must break off the horns
that grow on your forehead. If you do not surrender at
once, but make up your mind to fight, we, the pheasant, the
dog and the monkey, will kill you all by biting and tearing
you to death ! '

The horned demons looking up and only seeing a pheasant,
laughed and said :


" A wild pheasant, indeed! It is ridiculous to hear such
words from a mean thing like you. Wait till you get a blow
from one of our iron bars ! '

Very angry, indeed, were the devils. They shook their
horns and their shocks of red hair fiercely, and rushed to put
on tiger skin trousers to make themselves look more terrible.
They then brought out great iron bars and ran to where the
pheasant perched over their heads, and tried to knock him
down. The pheasant flew to one side to escape the blow, and
then attacked the head of first one and then another demon.
He flew round and round them, beating the air with his wings
so fiercely and ceaselessly, that the devils began to wonder
whether they had to fight one or many more birds.

In the meantime, Momotaro had brought his ship to land.
As they had approached, he saw that the shore was like a
precipice, and that the large castle was surrounded by high
walls and large iron gates and was strongly fortified.

Momotaro landed, and with the hope of finding some
way of entrance, walked up the path towards the top, followed
by the monkey and the dog. They soon came upon cwo
beautiful damsels washing clothes in a stream. Momotaro
saw that the clothes were blood-stained, and that as the two

Momotaro, or the Story of the Son of a Peach. 259

maidens washed, the tears were falling fast down their cheeks.
He stopped and spoke to them :

11 Who are you, and why do you weep ? '

" We are captives of the Demon King. We were carried
away from our homes to this island, and though we are
the daughters of Daimios (Lords), we are obliged to be his
servants, and one day he will kill us' -and the maidens held
up the blood-stained clothes " and eat us, and there is no
one to help us ! '

And their tears burst out afresh at this horrible thought.

" I will rescue you," said Momotaro. " Do not weep any
more, only show me how I may get into the castle."

Then the two ladies led the way and showed Momotaro a
little back door in the lowest part of the castle wall so small
that Momotaro could hardly crawl in.

The pheasant, who was all this time fighting hard, saw
Momotaro and his little band rush in at the back.

Momotaro's onslaught was so furious that the devils could
not stand against him. At first their foe had been a single
bird, the pheasant, but now that Momotaro and the dog and
the monkey had arrived they were bewildered, for the four
enemies fought like a hundred, so strong were they. Some of
the devils fell off the parapet of the castle and were dashed to
pieces on the rocks beneath ; others fell into the sea and were
drowned ; many were beaten to death by the three animals.

The chief of the devils at last was the only one left. He
made up his mind to surrender, for he knew that his enemy was
stronger than mortal man.

He came up humbly to Momotaro and threw down his iron

s 2


Japanese Fairy Book.

bar, and kneelinir clown at the victor's feet he broke off the horns


on his head in token of submission, for they were the sign of his
strength and power.

Momotaro returned triumphantly Home, taking with him the Devil Chief as

his Captive.

"I am afraid of you," he said meekly. "I cannot stand
against you. I will give you all the treasure hidden in this
castle if you will spare my life ! '

Momotaro laughed.

Momotaro, or the Story of the Son of a Peach. 261

" It is not like you, big devil, to beg for mercy, is it ? I
cannot spare your wicked life, however much you beg, for you
have killed and tortured many people and robbed our country
for many years."

Then Momotaro tied the devil chief up and gave him into
the monkey's charge. Having done this, he went into all the
rooms of the castle and set the prisoners free and gathered
together all the treasure he found.

The dog and the pheasant carried home the plunder, and
thus Momotaro returned triumphantly to his home, taking with
him the devil chief as a captive.

The two poor damsels, daughters of Daimios, and others
whom the wicked demon had carried off to be his slaves,
were taken safely to their own homes and delivered to their

The whole country made a hero of Momotaro on his
triumphant return, and rejoiced that the country was now freed
from the robber devils who had been a terror of the land for a
long time.

The old couple's joy was greater than ever, and the
treasure Momotaro had brought home with him enabled them
to live in peace and plenty to the end of their days.

( 262 )


LONG, long ago in Kyoto, the people of the city were
terrified by accounts of a dreadful ogre, who, it was said,
haunted the Gate of Rashomon at twilight and seized whoever
passed by. The missing victims were never seen again, so it
was whispered that the ogre was a horrible cannibal, who not
only killed the unhappy victims but ate them also. Now
everybody in the town and neighbourhood was in great fear,
and no one durst venture out after sunset near the Gate of

Now at this time there lived in Kyoto a general named
Raiko, who had made himself famous for his brave deeds.
Some time before this he made the country ring with his
name, for he had attacked Oeyama, where a band of ogres
lived with their chief, who instead of wine drank the blood
of human beings. He had routed them all and cut off the
head of the chief monster.

This brave warrior was always followed by a band of
faithful knights. In this band there were five knights of
great valour. One evening as the five knights sat at a feast
quaffing sake in their rice bowls and eating all kinds of fish,
raw, and stewed, and broiled, and toasting each other's healths
and exploits, the first knight, Hojo, said to the others :

Have you all heard the rumour that every evening after

i i

The Ogre of Rashomon. 263

sunset there comes an ogre to the Gate of Rashomon, and that
he seizes all who pass by ? '

The second knight, Watanabe, answered him, saying :

" Do not talk such nonsense ! All the ogres were killed by
our chief Raiko at Oeyama ! It cannot be true, because even
if any ogres did escape from that great killing they would not
dare to show themselves in this city, for they know that our
brave master would at once attack them if he knew that any of
them were still alive ! '

" Then do you disbelieve what I say, and think that I am
telling you a falsehood ? '

" No, I do not think that you are telling a lie," said
Watanabe ; " but you have heard some old woman's story
which is not worth believing."

" Then the best plan is to prove what I say, by going
there yourself and finding out yourself whether it is true or
not," said Hqjo.

Watanabe, the second knight, could not bear the thought
that his companion should believe he was afraid, so he
answered quickly :

" Of course, I will go at once and find out for myself! "

So Watanabe at once got ready to go he buckled on his
long sword and put on a coat of armour, and tied on his large
helmet. When he was ready to start he said to the others :

" Give me something so that I can prove I have been

Then one "of the men got a roll of writing paper and his
box of Indian ink and brushes, and the four comrades wrote
their names on a piece of paper.


Japanese Fairy Book.

" I will take this," said Watanabe, " and put it on the Gate
of Rashomon, so to-morrow morning will you all go and look


Watanabe finds the Arm of the Ogre.

at it ? I may be able to catch an ogre or two by then ! " and
he mounted his horse and rode off gallantly.

It was a very dark night, and there was neither moon nor

The Core of Rashomon. 265

star to light Watanabe on his way. To make the darkness
worse a storm came on, the rain fell heavily and the wind
howled like wolves in the mountains. Any ordinary man
would have trembled at the thought of going out of doors,
but Watanabe was a brave warrior and dauntless, and his
honour and word were at stake, so he sped on into the night,
while his companions listened to the sound of his horse's hoofs
dying away in the distance, then shut the sliding shutters close
and gathered round the charcoal fire and wondered what would
happen and whether their comrade would encounter one of
those horrible oni.

At last Watanabe reached the Gate of Rashomon, but peer as
he might through the darkness he could see no sign of an ogre.

" It is just as I thought," said Watanabe to himself; "there
are certainly no ogres here; it is only an old woman's story. I
will stick this paper on the gate so that the others can see
I have been here when they come to-morrow, and then I will
take my way home and laugh at them all."

He fastened the piece of paper, signed by all his four
companions, on the gate, and then turned his horse's head
towards home.

As he did so he became aware that someone was behind
him, and at the same time a voice called out to him to wait.
Then his helmet was seized from the back.

" Who are you ? " said Watanabe fearlessly. He then put
out his hand and groped around to find out who or what it was
that held him by the helmet. As he did so he touched some-
thing that felt like an arm it was covered with hair and as
big round as the trur.k of a tree !

266 Japanese Fairy Book.

Watanabe knew at once that this was the arm of an o <r re,

O '

so he drew his sword and cut at it fiercely.

There was a loud yell of pain, and then the ogre dashed in
front of the warrior.

Watanabe's eyes grew large with wonder, for he saw that
the ogre was taller than the great gate, his eyes were flashing
like mirrors in the sunlight, and his huge mouth was wide
open, and as the monster breathed, flames of fire shot out
of his mouth.

The ogre thought to terrify his foe, but Watanabe never
flinched. He attacked the ogre with all his strength, and thus
they fought face to face for a long time. At last the ogre,
finding that he could neither frighten nor beat Watanabe and
that he might himself be beaten, took to flight. But Watanabe,
determined not to let the monster escape, put spurs to his
horse and gave chase.

But though the knight rode very fast the ogre ran faster,
and to his disappointment he found himself unable to overtake
the monster, who was gradually lost to sight.

Watanabe returned to the gate where the fierce fight had
taken place, and got down from his horse. As he did so he
stumbled upon something lying on the ground.

Stooping to pick it up he found that it was one of the
ogre's huge arms which he must have slashed off in the fight.
His joy was great at having secured such a prize, for this was
the best of all proofs of his adventure with the ogre. So he
took it up carefully and carried it home as a trophy of his

When he got back, he showed the arm to his comrades

The Ogre oi Rashomon. 267

who one and all called him the hero of their band and gave
him a great feast. His wonderful deed was soon noised abroad
in Kyoto, and people from far and near came to see the

ogre s arm.

Watanabe now began to grow uneasy as to how he should
keep the arm in safety, for he knew that the ogre to whom it
belonged was still alive. He felt sure that one day or other,
as soon as the ogre got over his scare, he would come to try
to get his arm back again. Watanabe therefore had a box
made of the strongest wood and banded with iron. In this
he placed the arm, and then he sealed down the heavy lid,
refusing to open it for anyone. He kept the box in his own room
and took charge of it himself, never allowing it out of his sight.

Now one night he heard someone knocking at the porch,
asking for admittance.

When the servant went to the door to see who it was, there
was only an old woman, very respectable in appearance. On
being asked who she was and what was her business, the
old woman replied with a smile that she had been nurse to
the master of the house when he was a little baby. If the
lord of the house were at home she begged to be allowed to
see him.

The servant left the old woman at the door and went to tell
his master that his old nurse had come to see him. Watanabe
thought it strange that she should come at that time of night,
but at the thought of his old nurse, who had been like a foster-
mother to him and whom he had not seen for a long time, a
very tender feeling sprang up for her in his heart. He ordered
the servant to show her in.


Japanese Fairy Book.

The old woman was ushered into the room, and after the
customary bows and greetings were over, she said :

" Master, the report of your brave fight with the ogre at

Someone was knocking at the Porch, asking for Admittance!

the Gate of Rashomon is so widely known that even your poor
old nurse has heard of it. Is it really true, what everyone
says, that you cut off one of the ogre's arms ? If you did, your
deed is highly to be praised ! "

The Ogre of Rashomon. 269

"I was very disappointed," said Watanabe, "that I was
not able take the monster captive, which was what I wished to
do, instead of only cutting off an arm ! '

" I am very proud to think," answered the old woman,
" that my master was so brave as to dare to cut off an ogre's
arm. There is nothing that can be compared to your courage.
Before I die it is the great wish of my life to see this arm,"
she added pleadingly.

" No," said Watanabe, " I am sorry, but I cannot grant
your request."

" But why ? " asked the old woman.

" Because," replied Watanabe, " ogres are very revengeful
creatures, and if I open the box there is no telling but that the
ogre may suddenly appear and carry off his arm. I have had
a box made on purpose with a very strong lid, and in this box
I keep the ogre's arm secure; and I never show it to anyone,
whatever happens."

" Your precaution is very reasonable," said the old woman.
" But I am your old nurse, so surely you will not refuse to show
me the arm. I have only just heard of your brave act, and not
being able to wait till the morning I came at once to ask you
to show it to me."

Watanabe was very troubled at the old woman's pleading,
but he still persisted in refusing. Then the old woman
said :

" Do you suspect me of being a spy sent by the


" No, of course I do not suspect you of being the ogre's
spy, for you are my old nurse," answered Watanabe.


Japanese Fairy Book.

" Then you cannot surely refuse to show me the arm
any longer," entreated the old woman; "for it is the great


^^*j i k&

In this Way the Ogre escaped with his Arm.

wish of my heart to see for once in my life the arm of

an ogre ! '

Watanabe could not hold out in his refusal any longer, so
he gave in at last, saying :

The Ogre of Rashomon. 271

"Then I will show you the ogre's arm, since you so
earnestly wish to see it. Come, follow me ! ' and he led the
way to his own room, the old woman following.

When they were both in the room Watanabe shut the door
carefully, and then going towards a big box which stood in a
corner of the room, he took off the heavy lid. He then called
to the old woman to come near and look in, for he never took
the arm out of the box.

"What is it like? Let me have a good look at it," said
the old nurse, with a joyful face.

She came nearer and nearer, as if she were afraid, till she
stood right against the box. Suddenly she plunged her hand
into the box and seized the arm, crying with a fearful voice
which made the room shake :

" Oh, joy ! I have got my arm back again ! '

And from an old woman she was suddenly transformed
into the towering figure of the frightful ogre !

Watanabe sprang back and was unable to move for a
moment, so great was his astonishment ; but recognising
the ogre who had attacked him at the Gate of Rashomon,
he determined with his usual courage to put an end to him this
time. He seized his sword, drew it out of its sheath in a flash,
and tried to cut the ogre down.

So quick was Watanabe that the creature had a narrow
escape. But the ogre sprang up to the ceiling, and bursting
through the roof, disappeared in the mist and clouds.

In this way the ogre escaped with his arm. The knight
gnashed his teeth with disappointment, but that was all he
could do. He waited in patience for another opportunity to

272 Japanese Fairy Book.

despatch the ogre. But the latter was afraid of Watanabe's
great strength and daring, and never troubled Kyoto again.
So once more the people of the city were able to go out without
fear even at night time, and the brave deeds of Watanabe have
never been forgotten !



MANY, many years ago there lived a good old man who had
a wen like a tennis-ball growing out of his right cheek. This
lump was a great disfigurement to the old man, and so annoyed
him that for many years he spent all his time and money in
trying to get rid of it. He tried everything he could think of.
He consulted many doctors far and near, and took all kinds of
medicines both internally and externally. But it was all of no
use. The lump only grew bigger and bigger till it was nearly
as big as his face, and in despair he gave up all hopes of ever
losing it, and resigned himself to the thought of having to carry
the lump on his face all his life.

One day the firewood gave out in his kitchen, so, as his
wife wanted some at once, the old man took his axe and set out
for the woods up among the hills not very far from his home.
It was a fine day in the early autumn, and the old man enjoyed
the fresh air and was in no hurry to get home. So the
whole afternoon passed quickly while he was chopping wood,
and he had collected a goodly pile to take back to his wife.
When the day began to draw to its close, he turned his face

The old man had not gone far on his way down the moun-
tain pass when the sky clouded and rain began to fall
heavily. He looked about for some shelter, but there was not
F.B. T

274 Japanese Fairy Book.

even a charcoal-burner's hut near. At last he espied a large
hole in the hollow trunk of a tree. The hole was near the
ground, so he crept in easily, and sat down in hopes that he
had only been overtaken by a mountain shower, and that the
weather would soon clear.

But much to the old man's disappointment, instead of
clearing the rain fell more and more heavily, and finally a
heavy thunderstorm broke over the mountain. The thunder
roared so terrifically, and the heavens seemed to be so ablaze
with lightning, that the old man could hardly believe himself
to be alive. He thought that he must die of fright. At last,
however, the sky cleared, and the whole country was aglow in
the rays of the setting sun. The old man's spirits revived
when he looked out at the beautiful twilight, and he was about
to step out from his strange hiding-place in the hollow tree
when the sound of what seemed like the approaching steps of
several people caught his ear. He at once thought that his
friends had come to look for him, and he was delighted at the
idea of having some jolly companions with whom to walk home.
But on looking out from the tree, what was his amazement to
see, not his friends, but hundreds of demons coming towards
the spot. The more he looked, the greater was his astonish-
ment. Some of these demons were as large as giants, others
had great big eyes out of all proportion to the rest of their
bodies, others again had absurdly long noses, and some had such
big mouths that they seemed to open from ear to ear. All had
horns growing on their foreheads. The old man was so
surprised at what he saw that he lost his balance and fell out
of the hollow tree. Fortunately for him the demons did not

How an Old Man Lost his Wen. 275

see him, as the tree was in the background. So he picked
himself up and crept back into the tree.

While he was sitting there and wondering impatiently when
he would be able to get home, he heard the sounds of gay
music, and then some of the demons began to sing.

"What are these creatures doing?" said the old man to
himself. " I will look out, it sounds very amusing."

On peeping out, the old man saw that the demon chief himself
was actually sitting with his back against the tree in which he had
taken refuge, and all the other demons were sitting round, some

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