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Momotaro – The hero of Japan

We all know the legendary story of Ramayana existing in India since a very long time. However, have you ever heard of Momotaro who is an ancient hero of Japan? His tale bears a striking resemblance to the Ramayana. Let’s read further to have a glimpse into the life of Momotaro.

Momotaro has the same characteristics as Lord Rama. He is born to great parents and travels to Demon Island or Lanka in other words. According to Japanese culture, Momotaro travels to Lanka and is accompanied by a monkey, a dog, and a pheasant. While the monkey symbolizes Hanuman, pheasant is a symbol of Japan and is related to the peacock family.

In the ancient legend of Japan, it is mentioned that the monkey holds a resemblance to Lord Hanuman. Just like Ram and Hanuman defeat Ravan the monkey and Momotaro defeats the demons of Demon Island.  On their way, all of them need strength to survive the ordeal. They eat Millett laddoos to provide them the much-required power. Millett laddoos are a favorite food item of both India and Japan.

Rama and Momotaro both are considered to be destroyers of evil. While the former was born from peach a Japanese symbol of destroying evil. Rama, on the other hand, is a form of Vishnu who is also the destroyer of evil entities. There are multiple motifs in Japan which depict Momotaro as the savior and his travel to Demon Island is also captured. Apart from that, there is also the presence of a monkey in almost all these motifs.

Whether the story of Momotaro is related to Ramayana is difficult for us to say. However, there are multiple similarities between the same. For someone who has believed this mythological tale since childhood, it is hard not to miss the similarities. India and Japan may surely be culturally different to each other but this story is definitely a unique link between both of them.

 

 

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