I had a lady write me this morning asking for children’s traditional songs in ‘English but not translated‘. I can only hope this means ‘please write it in romaji‘. She particularly wanted Momotarou.
I did a Google search for ‘momotaro’ and ‘dango’ since those were the first two words of the song that popped in my head. About eight down was a hit to TheJapanesePage.com. I had forgotten, but years ago Yumi and I wrote the Momotaro song out and recorded her singing it.*
A few hours later I picked up a Crayon Shinchan manga and happened to flip to a story where Misae (his mother) is reading him a bed time story. It happened to be Momotaro – well, something to the semblance thereof. Allow me to quote it:
mukashi mukashi, aru futsuu no tokoro ni futsuu no ojiisan to obaasan ga imashita.
A long time ago, there lived an ordinary old man and old woman in an ordinary place.
aru hi futsuu tarou wa oni ga machi no hitobito ni ijiwaru shite iru no wo kikimashita.
One day, Futsuu Tarou heard there was an Oni who was causing trouble for the town’s people.
shikashi futsuu tarou wa futsuu no ko datta node sono mama futsuu ni kurashitemashita.
But Futsuu Tarou was an ordinary child so he continued to live an ordinary life.
If you took out all the 普通s and had a brave little boy willing to stop the oni, you would have the story of Momotaro.
* Of course I am writing this unbeknownst to Yumi. I am sure she would like for me to take it down.