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Kintaro

KINTARO

Kintaro is also known as the Golden Boy and is one of the real folk heroes of Japanese myth and legend. Kintaro, whose real name was thought to be Sakatano Kintoki, was raised by a mountain witch on the mythical Japanese Mount Ashigara.  He was born looking like a golden boy, fairly large and always golden.    He was the epitome of health, and today in Japanese folklore,  Kintaro is still the epitome of health.  There are not just painting or sketches of Kintaro, but dolls of him, dolls which symbolize healthy boys.

Kintaro had a super strength, possibly from being born and raised by a mountain witch, also known as a yama-uba in Japanese. As a child he wore little clothing, bar his golden skin and a red bib.  He is thought to have wrestled with many an animal, not in a cruel way, but in a way of play and a show of strength.  While other children rode around on bikes or cars, he rode around on a bear.

The Kintaro dolls are hugely popular for families and their children, and often on the birth of a new child, the parents will be gifted with either a doll of Kintaro or a sketch of Kintaro.  He was a brave warrior, a strong and bright child, and one who also protected others, in particular keeping their homes safe and burglars far away.

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